|FILE - In this Wednesday, March 1, 2006 file photo, Sharen Gravelle wipes tears as she testifies at a custody hearing in Huron County Juvenile Court, in Norwalk, Ohio. Gravelle, who forced some of her 11 adopted, special-needs children to sleep in cages has been released after serving two years in prison on child abuse and endangering convictions. The state prison system says Gravelle, 62, was released Thursday, March 17, 2011 and must serve three years of probation. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, Pool, File)|
Ohio's 'caged kids' mom out of prison; dad next
NORWALK, Ohio—An Ohio couple who forced some of their 11 adopted, special-needs children to sleep in cages is regaining their freedom after serving two years each in prison on child abuse and endangering convictions.
Sharen Gravelle, 62, was released Wednesday, the state prison system said, and must serve three years of probation. Michael Gravelle, 62, is scheduled for release Monday.
The couple lost custody of the children in 2006. The Gravelles said they used wire and wood enclosures at their home in Norwalk in northern Ohio to protect children they said were unruly and destructive.
Sharen Gravelle could not be reached for comment Thursday. No phone listing could be found.
The case led the state to increase oversight in cases of multiple special-needs children in one home.
The children, who suffered from problems such as fetal alcohol syndrome and a disorder that involves eating nonfood items, ranged in age from 1 to 14 when authorities removed them from the home.
The Gravelles said they took on so many needy children because no one else wanted them. After they lost custody, the children were placed with other foster parents.