Gravelles still haven't served 2-year prison terms

Date: 2009-01-14

HEATHER CHAPIN-FOWLER
hfowler@MorningJournal.com

TOLEDO — A Toledo court is expected to decide later this year whether Sharen and Michael Gravelle should serve prison time for the abuse their adopted children endured while living with the couple.

An oral hearing where the Huron County prosecutor and the Gravelles' attorney, Ken Myers, presented their cases was conducted earlier this month before the 6th District Court of Appeals.

Meanwhile, a federal civil lawsuit filed by the Gravelles against the Huron County Sheriff's Office, Department of Job and Family Services and individual investigators linked to the case was closed this month.

A federal court will allow the suit to be "reactivated" within 60 days after the criminal appeal case has been resolved.

The Gravelles' two-year prison sentences were stayed pending the appeal after their convictions in December 2006 of several child endangering and abuse charges involving some of their 11 adopted children.

Prosecutors said the Clarksfield Township couple made the children sleep in homemade cage-like structures, which were also used for punishment.

The couple has since split and filed for a divorce, which is pending in the Huron County Common Pleas Court.

Michael Gravelle is facing charges of domestic violence and driving under the influence in the Sandusky Municipal Court where court proceedings are scheduled to continue next month, according to court records.

As for their adopted children who were removed from their custody, most have been formally adopted, according to the Huron County Juvenile Court Administrator Chris Mushett.

Seven of the 11 children were adopted while three of four others remain in homes where adoption is hopeful, said Mushett. Two of the four children remain in therapeutic foster homes where "they are receiving intensive supervision and treatment for their behavioral and psychological needs," stated information provided by the court.

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