Ohio's 'caged kids' mom out of prison; dad next

AP News
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Posted: Mar 17, 2011 6:04 PM
Ohio's 'caged kids' mom out of prison; dad next

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.