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8 children made to sleep in cages; parents deny neglect (merged)

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8 children made to sleep in cages; parents deny neglect (merged)

Old 09-13-05, 05:32 PM
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8 children made to sleep in cages; parents deny neglect

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/...s_x.htm?csp=34

CLARKSFIELD TOWNSHIP, Ohio (AP) Sheriff's deputies removed 11 disabled children from a home where some of the youngsters were made to sleep in cages less than 3 feet high, authorities said.


This is the home where deputies found children locked in cages without blankets and with alarms on them Monday.
By Jim Bobel, The Morning Journal via AP

The children's adoptive parents, Mike and Sharen Gravelle, denied during a custody hearing Monday that they'd abused or neglected the children. No charges had been filed as of Monday night, and telephones at the county prosecutor's office repeatedly rang busy Tuesday morning.

One official agreed that there was no sign of abuse.

"The impression that we got was that (the parents) felt it was OK," Lt. Randy Sommers of the Huron County Sheriff's Office told The (Lorain) Morning Journal.

He said a baby slept in a small bed and two girls used mattresses, and the remaining children slept in the cages.

The Gravelles said a psychiatrist recommended they make the children sleep in the cages at night, County Prosecutor Russell Leffler said. The cages, averaging about 30 inches high, 40 inches wide and 40 inches deep, were stacked in bedrooms on the second floor of the house, officials said.

The children, ages 1 to 14, were described as having conditions that included autism and fetal alcohol syndrome.

Deputies were called Friday by a children's services investigator who visited the home and spotted a face peering out of one of the cages, Sommers said. The investigator was sent after the county received a complaint, said Erich Dumbeck, director of the Huron County Department of Job and Family Services. He would not say who complained.

Some of the cages were rigged with alarms, Sommers said, and one had a dresser in front of it. One boy said he'd slept in the cage for three years, he said.

The children were placed with four foster families Monday and were doing well, Dumbeck said. He said he saw them hugging their new foster parents and they seemed relieved.

"We're still trying to figure out what happened in that home," Dumbeck said Tuesday. "We don't have any indication at this point that there was any abuse."

The family has lived in Huron County for 10 years but most of the children were adopted through other Ohio counties, and two through other states, Dumbeck said. He said his agency was trying to determine how the adoptions originated.

"I don't believe there were any caseworkers checking in with this family," he said. "These kids were home schooled and they lived in the country where neighbors were spread out."

Dumbeck said it was unclear whether the Gravelles received adoption subsidies, which can range from $100 to $1,000 a month.

A woman who identified herself as Sharen Gravelle's mother but refused to give her name said the children were happy and loved. "This year they have played and had fun and laughed like no other children have, which they have never been able to do," she said.

The Gravelles do not have a listed telephone number. No one answered knocks at several doors Tuesday and the house was dark.

Dozens of toys were scattered around the yard Tuesday. A black potbellied pig, chickens and dogs roamed the property. A storage shed housed seven bicycles piled on top of each other, while a box on the patio held numerous pairs of children's shoes and boots.

Sommers said there were no apparent signs the children had been malnourished or beaten, but they were sent to a hospital for examination. Their conditions were not available Monday.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


Chris
Old 09-13-05, 05:37 PM
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Children shouldnt' be kept in CAGES.

Are they going to release them back into their natural environment in the African jungle?
Old 09-13-05, 05:39 PM
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Maybe the "cages" were just badly built bunkbeds?
Old 09-13-05, 05:39 PM
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"I don't believe there were any caseworkers checking in with this family," he said. "These kids were home schooled and they lived in the country where neighbors were spread out."



Man, someone should lose their job over this. This is seriously some fucked up shit.
Old 09-13-05, 06:08 PM
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the house is on stone blocks

several cars in the yard and chances are that most of them don't run

is this any surprise?
Old 09-13-05, 06:18 PM
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http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlates...276100,00.html

Neighbors Say Kids Found in Cages Polite

Tuesday September 13, 2005 10:31 PM


By M.R. KROPKO

Associated Press Writer

WAKEMAN, Ohio (AP) - The 11 children removed from a house where authorities say some of them slept in homemade cages are polite, well-behaved, well-dressed and appear to have been well-fed, neighbors and authorities said Tuesday.

Their adoptive parents, Michael Gravelle, 56, and Sharen Gravelle, 57, denied in a custody hearing Monday that they abused or neglected the children, who are ages 1-14 and have conditions that included autism and fetal alcohol syndrome.

No charges had been filed as of Tuesday afternoon, and messages left with the couple's lawyer were not immediately returned.

The Gravelles have said a psychiatrist recommended they make the children sleep in the cages, Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler told the Norwalk Reflector. The parents said the children, including some who had mental disorders, needed to be protected from each other, according to a search warrant on file at Norwalk Municipal Court.

Leffler refused to speak with an Associated Press reporter Tuesday at his office.

Neighbors said they often saw or heard the children playing, and the family yard was littered with toys - plastic cars, tricycles, slides and an overturned skateboard near a wooden ramp. Seven bicycles were piled in a storage shed.

``Those kids were dressed better than some of the kids who live in Cleveland. They behaved like any other kids when they were outside playing,'' said Jim Power, who lives across the street.

At night, authorities say, eight of the children were confined in 3-foot-tall wooden cages stacked in bedrooms on the second floor. The cages were painted in bright, primary colors, with some rigged with alarms that would send a signal to the downstairs when a cage door was opened. One cage had a dresser in front of it, county sheriff's Lt. Randy Sommers said Tuesday.

``The sheriff and I stood there for a few minutes and just kind of stared at what we were seeing. We were speechless,'' Sommers said.

No one answered the Gravelles' door Tuesday, and the gray, four-bedroom house was dark. A pig, roosters and other animals shared the yard outside Wakeman, a city of about 1,000 people 50 miles west of Cleveland.

The children have been placed with four foster families and were doing well, said Erich Dumbeck, director of the Huron County Department of Job and Family Services.

``We're still trying to figure out what happened in that home. We don't have any indication at this point that there was any abuse,'' Dumbeck said.

Sommers said a social worker investigating a complaint contacted authorities. Dumbeck would not discuss the complaint.

According to the search warrant, the cages had mats and the house smelled of urine. One boy said he slept in a cage for three years, Sommers said. A baby slept in a small bed, and two girls used mattresses

Deputies said they were called to the home last year when a 12-year-old boy was upset and ran away for several hours. He was found not far away.

Although the family has lived in Huron County for 10 years, the children were adopted through other counties and states, Dumbeck said. He said his agency was trying to determine how the adoptions were completed.

``I don't believe there were any caseworkers checking in with this family,'' he said. Reviews are ordered only when there is a complaint.

One of the children, a boy born with HIV, was adopted as an infant in 2001 through the Cuyahoga County Department of Children and Family Services, the agency's director Jim McCafferty said. For caring for him, the Gravelles received a subsidy of at least $500 a month.

The private agencies who reviewed the couple's home life before the adoption gave them ``glowing reports,'' McCafferty said.

Leah Hunter, who lives two houses away, said she often saw the children walking down the road.

``They looked OK. They hardly ever wore shoes but I'm a country girl and for me that's normal,'' she said.

---

Associated Press Writers Carrie Spencer in Columbus and Joe Milicia, Thomas J. Sheeran and Connie Mabin in Cleveland contributed to this report.


Chris
Old 09-13-05, 06:21 PM
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This link has a video of the news story.

Chris
Old 09-13-05, 07:55 PM
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Meh.
Old 09-13-05, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Kittydreamer
"I don't believe there were any caseworkers checking in with this family," he said. "These kids were home schooled and they lived in the country where neighbors were spread out."



Man, someone should lose their job over this. This is seriously some fucked up shit.
As far as I know, adopted children aren't checked on once the adoption goes through. Foster children are another story.
Old 09-13-05, 09:02 PM
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Bobel!

I've been to Norwalk and cages are actually pretty good living.

sad though.
Old 09-13-05, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by mrpayroll

This is the home where deputies found children locked in cages without blankets and with alarms on them Monday.
Which one of those things is the home?
Old 09-13-05, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by mrpayroll
A woman who identified herself as Sharen Gravelle's mother but refused to give her name said the children were happy and loved. "This year they have played and had fun and laughed like no other children have, which they have never been able to do," she said.
The newspaper didn't include the full quote.

Mrs. Gravelle continued, "There's this one kid, we call him Mongo on account of he's a mongoloid. He got out of his cage once and... well it's more of an enclosure really, so I went out and got him a leash you know, one of those clothesline runners for the backyard. He's got plenty of room out there to dig. The kid's really blossomed. Now I can take him to ball games, movies--you know, happy stuff. It's fun for them, but it's heaven for me. Those goofy bastards are just about the best thing I have in this crazy old world"
Old 09-13-05, 10:01 PM
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Like my mom used to say, "Hell is on earth"...

I guess this is a case of people having kids to cash in on welfare.
Old 09-13-05, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Numanoid
As far as I know, adopted children aren't checked on once the adoption goes through. Foster children are another story.
Sorry, I thought the kids were foster kids...my bad! Ok, then, those parents need to be sleeping in small cages for the next three years. What fucktards.
Old 09-13-05, 10:28 PM
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I was wondering where all the sick-O parenting threads went. Whew. I thought I was living in a respectable world.
Old 09-13-05, 10:41 PM
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Yet another example of crappy ass parents screwing up kids. They should be tazered.
Old 09-14-05, 12:20 AM
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How any city or county could allow a family (husband & wife) to adopt 11 disabled children is beyond me. Even a married couple in their rights minds would have enough trouble handling a couple of disabled kids. But to allow 1 family to adopt these many kids is just wrong. Especially when these 'parents' lack the common sense that is needed to bring up children.

Chris
Old 09-14-05, 08:05 AM
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It's Ohio. Why is anyone surprised?
Old 09-14-05, 08:46 AM
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Not at all.
Old 09-14-05, 09:00 AM
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Children should be free-range.
Old 09-14-05, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by DVD Polizei
I was wondering where all the sick-O parenting threads went. Whew. I thought I was living in a respectable world.
No you didn't. You've been grumpy for months now.
Old 09-14-05, 11:04 AM
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It looks to me that the kids were well fed, well clothed, socialized, and had lots of toys. When placed with foster families, they are "doing well." When private adoption agencies reviewed the kids' living conditions, they gave glowing reports.

These people are adopting the sort of kids that most other people won't have. Black kids can't get adopted in this country. I can't imagine many mentally disabled kids are ever adopted.

I used to have a friend whose parents had adopted 15 kids. They also adopted unwanted kids, in this case Vietnamese and Cambodian refugees in the 1970s.
Old 09-14-05, 01:24 PM
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A few weeks ago someone was telling me that they were having trouble adopting but found out they would get money for doing it and some people adopt a bunch of kids cuz each is worth hundreds of dollars (week or month-I forget). So someone with that many kids would have a decent income.
Old 09-14-05, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Buford T Pusser
A few weeks ago someone was telling me that they were having trouble adopting but found out they would get money for doing it and some people adopt a bunch of kids cuz each is worth hundreds of dollars (week or month-I forget). So someone with that many kids would have a decent income.
And hell, they don't even have to spend any money on beds. Just get some old bird cages at the junk yard!

Chris
Old 09-14-05, 02:12 PM
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Hmm... interesting... this story has no effect on me. I don't give a shit about these kids at all. Not sure whether it's because I'm not surprised or because I'm desensitized or because I'm a terrible person. I also don't really think sleeping in cages is nearly as bad a childhood trauma as some of mine and my friends childhood traumas.

so in other words - to quote numanoid - "Meh."

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