Gravelles begin sentences: Couple reports to Huron County Jail to await 2-year prison stay

Date: 2009-04-07


NORWALK — Michael and Sharen Gravelle reported to the Huron County Jail yesterday morning to begin serving their two-year prison sentences.

There is no time limit as far as when the Gravelles will be transferred from the jail to an actual prison, according to Sgt. Wade Mollison, a spokesman for the jail. The jail doesn't reveal specific transport details like where a prisoner is going or when because it is a "security issue," Mollison said.

All women who are sent to prison go to Marysville and the men are sent to Lorain Correctional Institution, in Grafton, for processing and can stay there or be sent elsewhere.

The jail is awaiting "transport orders" from the Common Pleas Court before the couple will be shipped out, Mollison said.

The Gravelles' prison terms were stayed more than two years ago while they each appealed their convictions for two misdemeanor and four felony counts of child endangering and five misdemeanor counts of child abuse against some of their 11 adopted children at their Clarksfield Township home. The 6th District Court of Appeals recently upheld the Huron County Common Pleas Court jury's December 2006 decision. The Gravelles had used homemade, cage-like structures for the children to sleep in and had unsafe living conditions.

The Huron County Sheriff's Office and the Department of Job and Family Services conducted a search of the couple's home in September 2005, where they found wood and chicken-wire cages with alarms that served as sleeping quarters for the children, according to court records and the criminal trial.

The Gravelles' other mistreatment of the children included keeping one of the older children in a bathroom for days as punishment for his problems controlling his bladder, according to testimony at the criminal trial.

Many of the children suffered from various mental and developmental disorders and were promptly removed from the Gravelles' custody after the search of their home.

Not only did the Gravelles lose their criminal appeal, they also were ordered to pay the appeal court fees of the case that has been ongoing for about two years, according to Huron County Prosecutor Russ Leffler and court records.

The fees haven't been tallied up yet, but the transcripts alone were expected to cost more than $8,000, officials have said.

Meanwhile, Michael Gravelle isn't finished with court proceedings, even though he's sitting in jail.

He is scheduled to appear in Sandusky Municipal Court on May 7 where he will be sentenced for disorderly conduct for a physical altercation with Sharen as well as a drunken-driving incident on a separate occasion last year. Gravelle was convicted recently in the Sandusky Municipal Court. The Gravelles are in the process of divorcing


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