Thursday, July 12, 2007
Child Abuse, Child Sleep Protection, or A Unique Form of Time Out?
A couple in Norwalk, Ohio had a unique way of caring for their children: they apparently put them in a bed at night which resembled a cage. As a result, Michael and Sharen Gravelle are looking at a two-year prison sentence. The Gravels allegedly forced some of their 11 adopted special-needs children to sleep in "cages." Yet the couple hope to get the children back. The Gravelles were sentenced in February on four felony child endangering charges and seven misdemeanors. The couple are free on bond pending appeal.
The children ranged in age from 1 to 14. The children suffered from numerous problems including fetal alcohol syndrome. The children lived in the Gravelles home in Wakeman, about 60 miles west of Cleveland. Three weeks ago, the Ohio Supreme Court refused an appeal of the custody case that put the children into foster care. Michael Gravelle has contended that he and his wife made enclosed beds for the safety of the troubled children. The prosecution presented evidence that the Gravelles sometimes put the childern in small wood-and-wire enclosures for punishment. The Gravelles have denied this allegation.The couple faces a two-year prison sentence. In the meantime, the new part of this story is that the Gravelles continue to want the children back. Right or wrong, it is not likely to happen.