Sharen Gravelle released from jail

After serving nearly two years in prison, Sharen Gravelle is free - and Michael Gravelle will be out soon, too.
Annie Zelm
Mar 18, 2011

After serving nearly two years in prison, Sharen Gravelle is free — and Michael Gravelle will be out soon, too.

The estranged pair convicted of child endangering and child abuse have served their scheduled sentences, according to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections.

Sharen Gravelle, 62, was admitted to prison April 7, 2009, and released Wednesday from the Northeast Pre-Release Center in Cleveland.

Michael Gravelle, 62, was admitted April 6, 2009, and is scheduled to be released Monday from the Hocking Correctional Facility in Nelsonville.

Both will be on parole for the next three years.

Their releases mark the end of a criminal case that dragged on for more than five years, starting in 2005 when social workers removed the adopted and foster children from their home after an investigation.

The Gravelles kept some of the special needs children in alarmed enclosures and used cruel and unorthodox ways to discipline them, according to court records.

Sharen Gravelle testified that she and her husband built the enclosed beds to protect the children, so they didn't wander during the night.

Huron County Court of Common Pleas Judge Earl McGimpsey sentenced the Gravelles to two years in prison in 2007, after a jury convicted them on four felony charges of child endangering, two misdemeanor charges of child endangering and five misdemeanor charges of child abuse.

They were both acquitted on 17 other charges, according to court records. Their sentences were postponed during a series of appeals, but they ultimately lost.

Huron County prosecutor Russ Leffler said the judge apparently felt the Gravelles were "basically good people," but he disagrees.

"They should have gotten a lot longer (sentences)," Leffler said. "Some of the children are doing well, some not as well."

The Gravelles' attorney, Kenneth D. Myers, did not return a call seeking comment.

The children ranged from 1 to 14 years old when they were taken from the Gravelles' home near Wakeman.

At least two of the children are now suing the Gravelles. They're also seeking compensation from Hamilton County, Adopt America Network, their social workers and Fairhaven Counseling.

Last March, Huron County awarded a $1.2 million settlement to be split among the 11 children, depending on their needs and the severity of the abuse they suffered.

Comments

juggalo7

i say keep them in jail for 11 years for the 11 kids they hurt.. 2 years wasn't enough

concernedinclyde

2 yrs was def not long enough!  3 yrs parole is not even close to being enough either!  They hurt so many lives when they were supposed to be the ones protecting them children.  I really hope they learned their lesson, but only time will tell.

pbsbabydoll

I think Huron County Children and Family Services also "dropped" the ball on this case. I'm sure there were many caseworkers in and out of that house over the years, esp when more children were placed. Didnt they (caseworkers) ever do an inspection of the home? But I do agree that the sentences werent long enough.

Cobbwebb12345

     Just a correction for the  reporter and the copy  editor:

            When an inmate serves the entire sentence, they are then on "probation."

            When an inmate serves 10 years of a 25-year sentence, then that person is on "parole." 

Buff

Cobbwebb:  Just a correction for you and the Register.  When a person convicted of a crime is not ordered to serve a jail or prison term, but is given a period of supervision, that is called probation.  When a prison inmate serves his entire stated sentence and is released, he or she may be subject to further supervision by the Ohio Adult Parole Authority-that is called Post Release Control (formerly Parole).  The Gravelles will be on 3 years of Post Release Control. 

 

joeclarke

 

 I personally knew and still know the Gravelles. The home-made bunk beds the kids slept in were just that - beds made of commonly available materials like 2 x 4s. They could not have been considered cages by any definition. The beds did have doors which were never locked and restraining guards made out of smooth wire so that the kids would not fall out of the bunk beds.

The bedroom and beds were painted with Biblical scences including Noah and the Ark.

The kids were happy and alright until the the local county Social Services started looking under rocks for problems.

Well, Job and Family Services in cooperation with the sheriff and prosecutors trumped up problems which could have been easily solved through other methods than prosecuting the Gravelles.

So, as it turns out the County has payed over a million dollars because of coerced lawsuit, and may pay even more. I hope the Gravelles successfully sue the county for compensation and false imprisonment.

Never underestimate the lengths at which our social services will go to in order to justify their existence. They exhibited very unprofessional conduct toward the Gravelles, and toward the children.

DGMutley

from the article,

...

Huron County prosecutor Russ Leffler said the judge apparently felt the Gravelles were "basically good people," but he disagrees.

"They should have gotten a lot longer (sentences)," Leffler said. "Some of the children are doing well, some not as well."

...>>>

I agree with the prosecutor. 

Concernedinclyde, I don't think they 'learned any lesson'--they believed and I think they still believe there was nothing wrong with the way they were raising the kids.    In my opinion these two jailbirds purposely did what they did only to make money and were modeling the way they were doing it after the way a farmer raises livestock.

I hope the rest of the kids sue.

 

asdferdf

job and family services will probably be placing some kids in their care again soon.........i saw torture these sick focks!

supra

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained lengthy or off-topic excerpts from other websites. Discussion Guidelines

DGMutley

Here is an excerpt from an article in Advocates for Children in Therapy:

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The oldest of the former adopted children of Sharen and Michael Gravelle asked a judge “that they get as much time in jail for as long as my siblings had to be in cages.” She added, “They are grown adults who know the difference between right and wrong.”

The teenager was directing her comments to the judge about to sentence the Ohio couple who had been convicted of three counts of felony child-abuse for their use of Attachment Therapy on their 11 adopted children. It made national headlines for 18 months after authorities made the discovery that the Gravelles had for years been putting ten of their eleven adopted children, ages 1 to 14, in cramped, homemade cages, some totally lacking bedding and reeking of urine. Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler described the cages: “It’s about chicken wire and wooden boards, being literally cooped up, hotter than blazes in summer, an amazingly shrill alarm and little fingers trying to tear wire.” Former social worker Jo Ellen Johnson, who assisted the police in removing the children from the Gravelle home, said the stacked cages looked like “slave quarters.”

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

For a picture of the cages and more of the atrocities check out this link: 

http://www.childrenintherapy.org...

shbamn1's picture
shbamn1

I am a friend of Mike Gravelle and I can say he is a good man and good with kids. These kids that he and Sharon adopted were needy kids. They asked the State for help with the special beds the kids needed and they wouldn't help them. Every time the State had these special needs kids that no one else wanted, they made sure that the Gravelles met them. As soft hearted as the Gravelles are they always took them in. They made these beds themselves the best that they could because these kids really needed them. They would get up in the middle of the night and instead of going to the restroom, they would go in the floor and purposely smear feces all over the walls. They would assault each other with hands, feet and sometimes weapons. The State beds don't look much different than what they made. The State beds doors lock, the Gravelle beds didn't an alarm would go off if a door was open. These beds were in the house for 2 years with permission from childrens services. If these beds were not allowed the Gravelles would have never made them!

shbamn1's picture
shbamn1

I am a friend of Mike Gravelle and I can say he is a good man and good with kids. These kids that he and Sharon adopted were needy kids. They asked the State for help with the special beds the kids needed and they wouldn't help them. Every time the State had these special needs kids that no one else wanted, they made sure that the Gravelles met them. As soft hearted as the Gravelles are they always took them in. They made these beds themselves the best that they could because these kids really needed them. They would get up in the middle of the night and instead of going to the restroom, they would go in the floor and purposely smear feces all over the walls. They would assault each other with hands, feet and sometimes weapons. The State beds don't look much different than what they made. The State beds doors lock, the Gravelle beds didn't an alarm would go off if a door was open. These beds were in the house for 2 years with permission from childrens services. If these beds were not allowed the Gravelles would have never made them!