Justice redacted in Gravelle trial

Once again, someone who has obviously done something wrong during the Gravelle saga may not be held accountable. Mich
Sandusky Register Staff
May 9, 2010

Once again, someone who has obviously done something wrong during the Gravelle saga may not be held accountable.

Michael and Sharen Gravelle, the parents of 11 adoptive children who were found guilty of abusing some of those children by making them sleep in unlocked cages with sound alarms, will undoubtably face some form of punishment for those actions. This despite county supervision that did nothing for years even though it had knowledge of the Gravelles’ methods.

The prosecutor in the case, however, may walk away from some actions that could be viewed as unethical at best.

Judge Earl R. McGimpsey ruled prosecutor Russ Leffler should not have redacted, or blacked out, the statement, “Leffler did not want to do anything because it was an election year,” from a social worker’s notes on the Grevelles before they were presented to the defense before the trial. The defense did not  become aware of the redactions until after the Gravelles were found guilty. McGimpsey ruled the redaction did not affect the verdict, in his opinion, but agreed Leffler should not have done it. And yet we have not heard anything about any possible punishment for the prosecutor.

Huron County Children’s Services, which also dropped the ball in its role, does not appear to be facing any punishment, either. The state agency reprimanded the county, but again the only people facing any significant punishment is the Gravelles.

If there is to be any real justice in this case, Leffler will have to answer for his actions and the county  also face retribution.

It appears the only reason the redaction was made was to cover up any culpability or embarrassment  that could be directed at Leffler. Leffler stood up before the Gravelles, a judge and jury and condemned the parents for their actions and demanded they be held accountable.

We as an editorial board stand before the community and demand same for the prosecutor  and county.

Only then will justice be done.

Comments

chad

What do you suggest should happen to the prosecutor and Children Services?

Julia Gomez

This editorial is really just an ill-conceived defense of the Gravelles. The truth is that even if county officials were negliglent in remdying the child abuse, it is the Gravelles who actually abused the children. Trying to shift the blame to others in order to deny the Gravelles' culpability is shameless.

Anonymous

The system has truly failed the Gravelles and those adopted children.
The Sharen did not abuse any children.
I wish I had the fund to help her.

Sharen is also a birthmother! and she adopted those children because she wanted to give back and she swore she would help as many children she could.

Sharen is a wonderful Mother!

Anonymous

The system has truly failed the Gravelles and those adopted children.
Sharen did not abuse any children,
I wish I had the funds to help her.

Sharen is also a birthmother! and she adopted those children because she wanted to give back and she swore she would help as many children she could.

Sharen is a wonderful Mother!

Julia Gomez

Anyone who denies that the Gravelles are child abusers is either insane, a racist, or both. The evidence of abuse ranging from the cages, to failure to educate the children, to assaults on them, is irrefutable. Two courts have heard the evidence and ruled against the Gravelles. Those decisions will be affirmed on appeal.~

Furthermore, the Gravelles' history of child abuse includes their birth children. Only one of their combined five children lived with them until adulthood, and she was sexually abused, too. Two of their adult children testified against them.~

There is really no rational basis for defending the Gravelles. That leads me to believe that their defenders are people like them -- fellow child abusers and racists.~

As for Leffler, the record supports him. It appears Ms. Johnson confused an investigation of the Gravelles in 2000 with the one in 2003. I wish that a thorough investigation had occurred sooner and the children had been removed then, saving them years of abuse. BUT, ultimately, the responsibility for being child abusers rests on the Gravelles.

Anonymous

I agree 100% with Ms Gomez.