GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - Gwinnett County police say a former Georgia Tech player, who also briefly signed with the Atlanta Falcons, kept a child locked in his basement for more than a year.
Investigators tell Channel 2's Tony Thomas that the 13-year-old had not seen his own brothers and sisters for months.
"He was essentially being treated as a prisoner would be treated," Cpl. Jake Smith said.
Warrants have been issued for Recardo Wimbush, 33, and his wife, Therian, 37. They have until Friday to turn themselves in to authorities.
They are charged with cruelty to children and false imprsonment.
Police say nine other children in the home remained upstairs and were free to move around. The teenage boy was locked in a small room in the basement.
An anonymous tip led state workers to the home on Pierce Way in Buford.
"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 dective 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 told Thomas they have no evidence to support the molestation claim and the other children did not mention it.
Detectives said the 13-year-old showed no physical signs of problems. All the children are now in state custody.
Wimbush 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.
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