Former Tech star, wife indicted on charges of abuse of isolated son

Ex-Tech football star facing child cruelty charges banned from seeing kid

The case against former Georgia Tech football star Recardo Wimbush and wife has moved another step in the criminal justice system with an indictment that officially charges that the parents abused their eldest son by keeping him locked up and isolated in a tiny basement room for alm ost two years.

A Gwinnett County grand jury indicted Recardo and Therian on two counts of first-degree cruelty to children on Sept. 4. The boy, the oldest of 10, was discovered locked away following an anonymous phone call to social services.

The indictment, which came days after the couple was denied visits from their children, said the Wimbushes maliciously caused Recardo Wimbush Jr. cruel and excessive mental pain by confining him in inhumane conditions between Aug. 22, 2012, and July 15 of this year.

Their children remain in foster care and the parents were still in jail on Friday.

A Gwinnett County judge ruled last month that the Wimbushes would be held without bond after prosecutors argued they feared the parents may try to influence witnesses as well as their oldest son.

Dan Mayfield, chief deputy prosecutor in Gwinnett, argued in an Aug. 5 bond hearing the Wimbushes “are capable of inhumane treatment. Their behavior is bizarre and unpredictable and it reveals an abnormal world view of parenting.”

Dwight Thomas, the Wimbushes’ attorney, said the parents isolated the boy only to discipline him.

At a hearing in July, social workers and police said the Buford couple had kept their son locked up away from his siblings and without access to toys. He lived in an 80-square-foot area that had no light at night.

The boy believed his punishment was deserved because he had been disobedient and lied to his mother about taking a DVD and a book to the room before it was locked, a social worker testified. He acknowledged being whipped with a belt for inappropriately touching his siblings.

The Wimbushes ground their faith in the Old Testament and are strong disciplinarians, defense attorney Thomas said.

They have been married since their Georgia Tech days when Recardo, 33, was a football star and team captain at Georgia Tech in 2002. He tried out unsuccessfully for the Atlanta Falcons. He was employed by Norfolk Southern railroad.

Therian, 37, has dual degrees in mechanical engineering from Georgia Tech and Spelman College and was honorably discharged from the Navy. She privately tutored other children as well as her own.