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Detroit dad given probation for child abuse after son’s 11-day disappearance

A man whose son was found in their Detroit basement days after the child was reported to have run away in 2014 pleaded guilty Tuesday to a misdemeanor charge of fourth-degree child abuse.

A judge sentenced Charles Bothuell IV to 18 months of probation, in addition to anger management classes, said Maria Miller, spokeswoman for the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office in Michigan.

Bothuell, who prosecutors alleged physically abused his son and forced him to endure an extreme exercise regime, was ordered to have no contact with him.

The family made national news in June 2014 after Bothuell said his son, then 12, went missing, prompting a search that involved the FBI. Eleven days after the boy was reported missing, police said they found him in the basement of the family’s home. He was very thin, with marks on his upper body.

At the time, police said they had searched the basement previously, so they believed the boy had moved during the 11 days he was missing.

According to court documents, the boy told investigators he feared getting in trouble for not completing his workout routine.

The boy said, according to the documents, that he was forced twice a day to do 100 push-ups, 200 sit-ups and 100 jumping jacks. He also said that he’d have to curl a 25-pound weight on each arm and do 5,000 revolutions on an exercise machine, and if he didn’t finish in less than an hour, he’d have to do the routine again.

Bothuell told authorities his son ran away after being scolded for not exercising or doing his chores.

Bothuell was talking live on air with HLN’s Nancy Grace in June 2014 when he learned that state police had discovered his son, appearing shocked when Grace told him that she’d just received breaking news about it.

CNN’s Ashley Fantz and Haimy Assefa contributed to this report.

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