Friday, December 22, 2006

Parents accused of caging adoptive children convicted

NORWALK, Ohio A couple accused of forcing some of their 11 adopted special-needs children to sleep in chicken wire cages were convicted today of endangerment and abuse.

A jury found both Michael Gravelle, 57, and his wife, Sharen, 58, guilty of four felony counts of child endangering, two misdemeanor counts of child endangering and five misdemeanor counts of child abuse. Each was acquitted of 13 other charges.

I get real upset when I read stuff like this; children in the foster program have already been through a lot merely to end up there, the last thing they need is for people to treat them like animals. If you cannot manage 11 children, you shouldn't be trying to take care of that many. I have the suspicion, however, that they had that many because they were more interested in collecting the money for them.

The Gravelles have said they took on so many needy children because no one else wanted them. Prosecutors have suggested the couple wanted so many special-needs youngsters because of the adoption and foster care subsidies that accompanied them.

I hope the couple gets to spend some time in a cage, when it comes time to hand out their sentence.


Lisa W. said...

I agree Bob - eye for an eye, but that still wouldn't be enough. ARGH
(If I don't make it back before the holiday madness gets worse, have a safe & happy holiday)`

Phoenix Ravenflame said...

Saying they were treated like animals doesn't even cover it. From the details I've read, it sounds like treatment that could legally qualify as abuse and neglect for animals, too. There is simply no excuse for it, and I can't believe they'd think anyone would believe that it was necessary to treat the kids this way. That's the excuse I've heard... they had to because of severe behavioral problems. I'm thinking any legal punishment is too good for these people.

Hammer said...

I was confused when I first read about this case.

The foster family from where I adopted my son had some of the children in steel cages. they were like cribs but the sides were thick steel bars.

Some of these kids were dangerous. One child, "willy" was 4 years old his biological father had caved in the back of his skull with a shovel. As a result he became violent as well as severely
mentally disabled.

He also didn't know his own strength. After he broke the arm of the foster mom and savagely attacked the other children they placed him in the cage/crib device.

The other children had to sleep in them too becuase willy didn't know his own strength and could break out of his cage and continue his attacks on the other children.

I'm not sure if the family in question had the same problems but if they did the state may be using them as scape goats.