GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - A former Georgia Tech football star and his wife were denied bond Saturday on charges of false imprisonment and cruelty to children after police say they held one of their 10 children prisoner for nearly two years.
The couple turned themselves in to the Gwinnett County jail Friday.
Investigators said a tip to state welfare workers led them to the Gwinnett County house on Pierce Way in Buford.
Thursday afternoon, police accused Recardo Wimbush, 33, a former football player at Georgia Tech, and his wife Therian, 37, of locking their 13-year-old son in the basement for nearly 20 months.
“He was essentially being treated as a prisoner would be treated," Cpl. Jake Smith said.
Investigators said he was confined to a space about the size of an office cubicle, with a mattress and a bucket to use as the bathroom.
"The window had been painted over. There was no light bulb outside. What was inside was a bucket that the child was using as a bathroom, a mattress and box spring," Smith said.
In the arrest warrant, a detective said, "Therian and Recardo Sr. justified his treatment in Juvenile Court by saying the boy molested three of the younger siblings. The child stated he was locked in the bedroom located in the basement for taking the family DVD player and lying about it."
Police questioned the other siblings and they said they didn’t know anything about the abuse claims.
The couple has nine other children and neighbors are worried about them.
“It's got to be the kids. They have to have a better place to live than that,” said neighbor Khan Ly.
Officials said all of the children were homeschooled.
Detectives said the 13-year-old showed no physical signs of problems. All the children are now in state custody.
Wimbush was a star football player. He played for Georgia Tech from 1999-2002 and led the team in tackles for three years.
He signed a contract with the Atlanta Falcons in 2003 but was cut before the season started.
Channel 2's Ryan Young contributed to this story.