Former Georgia Tech captain facing 'cruelty to children' charges

8 Sep 2001: Recardo Wimbush #42 of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets lined up during the game against the Navy Midshipmen at Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland. (Doug Pensinger /Allsport)

A former Georgia Tech standout is facing some serious charges involving his son.

According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, police in Gwinnett County, Ga. have charged Recardo Wimbush, the Yellow Jackets’ team captain in 2002, with cruelty to children for allegedly locking his oldest son in a room in the family basement “for most of the past two years.”

Wimbush’s wife, Therian Cornelia Wimbush, has also been charged.

The couple told investigators that they locked their 13-year-old son, the oldest of 10 children, in a room in the basement of their home for “disciplinary reasons,” according to Gwinnett police spokesman Cpl. Jake Smith. The official charges levied against the couple are malicious and intentional cruelty to children and false imprisonment.

According to the arrest warrant, the child was “sent to the basement of the family house for the past two years in deplorable conditions due to being disobedient.”

“The victim had been confined to the room for most of the past two years and a lock had been added to the victim’s room in January 2013,” Smith said. “The victim had no access to books, toys, entertainment devices or his siblings.”

In a family court hearing on June 19, the couple told a judge that the 13-year-old was “a threat to their other children.”

Per the AJC, an anonymous tip led to an investigation by the Department of Family and Children Services.

Social workers discovered the boy was being confined to a small room that locked from the outside; it contained a bare box springs and mattress and “a large plastic jar, which was apparently used as a toilet,” Smith said. The boy was in good health, as were his nine siblings, and there were no other signs of abuse. After a hearing, a judge removed all the children from the house and contacted Gwinnett Police who searched the house the next day, Smith said.

Police said the boy was “fed at normal meal times and that the room was kept clean,” but they don’t believe he was attending school and was “only occasionally let out to use the bathroom.” The room was described as “dark, with no light bulb in its fixture and the single window was painted white which let in a small amount of light during daylight hours.”

Wimbush suited up for the Yellow Jackets from 1999-2002 was named second-team All-ACC at linebacker in his senior year. He signed with the Atlanta Falcons as an undrafted free agent in 2003, but was released from the team after training camp.

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Sam Cooper is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

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