Invisible Children

11 Children of Michael and Sharon Gravelle

Content note: Case narratives include descriptions of severe violence inflicted on children, including abuse and neglect, sexual violence, torture, and murder, as well as mentions of suicide and domestic violence. They also include photos of victims and perpetrators of violence.

Gravelle 2Gravelle

Michael and Sharon Gravelle forced their eleven adopted special needs children to sleep in stacked cages rigged with alarms. At night, the children were so afraid of setting off the alarms that they would urinate in their clothes rather than leave their cages to go to the bathroom. The children were also emotionally abused, spanked with boards, and sometimes had their heads held underwater in a toilet as punishment. The children were homeschooled through an online charter school program. The family lived in Ohio.

Date: September 2005
Location: Clarksfield, Ohio

Documents: Date:
Children found in locked cages 2005-09-13
Behind closed doors 2005-09-14
Adoptive parent’s mother: Children weren’t abused 2005-09-14
Answers few in case of kids found in cages 2005-09-14
Cages used to protect kids, couple says 2005-09-15
NAACP leaders say children’s rights may have been violated 2005-09-15
Community in spotlight in wake of cage case 2005-09-16
Family friend says she reported mistreatment 2005-09-16
‘We didn’t drop the ball on this one’ 2005-09-17
‘Caged kids’ horrify nation, yet local official hadn’t ‘reviewed file’ 2005-09-20
Sheriff: Cages used to punish 2005-09-20
Agency attracts controversy over handling of cage case 2005-09-20
Biological daughter alleges abuse 2005-09-21
Agency faced spotlight long before cages 2005-09-22
Attorney fights couple’s bad image 2005-10-11
County ignored tip on cages 2005-10-23
Gravelles tell their side of story 2005-10-24
Parents of Caged Children Want Them Back 2005-11-02
Adoption system called flawed 2005-11-10
Gravelles pessimistic about quick return of children 2005-11-15
Salesman denies seeing abuse 2005-12-07
Adopted children ‘kept in cages’ 2005-12-07
Officer: Kids said they were beaten, confined 2005-12-08
Adopted child testifies at custody hearing 2005-12-09
Gravelle hearing concludes, ruling due in two weeks 2005-12-11
Enclosed beds cause controversy 2006-01-17
USA Today Helps Expose AT Underground Trafficking of Unwanted Children 2006-01-20
Gravelles indicted on 30 counts 2006-02-15
Gravelles, social worker indicted 2006-02-15
Social worker charges unusual 2006-02-16
Caged kids’ case against Gravelles, social worker requires getting it right 2006-02-16
Gravelles plead innocent in criminal case 2006-02-23
Adoptive mom defends couple’s actions 2006-03-02
Closing briefs submitted in caged kids custody case 2006-03-15
Couple loses custody in ‘caged’ kids’ case 2006-03-21
Adoption reform bill brings welcome new protection for children 2006-05-24
The Cradle Society v Adopt America Network (Jury demanded) 2006-06-09
Taft OKs changes in adoption process 2006-06-22
‘Cages’ prosecutor tough on own kids 2006-11-23
Children testify that they were whipped 2006-11-30
Social worker says he saw abuse 2006-12-02
Neighbor testifies against Gravelle 2006-12-06
Neighbor testifies Gravelle wanted 10 children 2006-12-06
Social worker doesn’t recall hearing the word ‘cages’ 2006-12-09
Babysitter testifies Gravelles were loving 2006-12-14
Psychologist defends enclosing kids’ beds 2006-12-15
Gravelle judge reduces some charges 2006-12-16
Deliberations begin in case of ‘caged’ kids 2006-12-20
Gravelles guilty of endangering, abuse 2006-12-23
Gravelles found guilty 2006-12-23
Department chief up for review after ‘rough’ 2006 2007-01-03
Huron County official vows to ‘keep digging’ 2007-01-04
Gravelle juror: County accountable 2007-01-04
Perjury claims newest source of trouble for department 2007-01-05
State lashed agency in ’06 on Gravelles 2007-01-12
State stings agency’s handling of ‘caged kids’ case 2007-01-12
Judge wants affidavits 2007-01-20
Neighbors praise Gravelles; girl demonstrates size of beds 2007-01-22
New claims made that ‘caged kids’ case halted over politics 2007-01-25
Prosecutor knew about cages in ’03, worker says 2007-01-25
Gravelles begin fight for new trial 2007-01-26
Judge rejects new trial in ‘cages’ case 2007-01-30
Letter Gravelle child 2007-02-11
‘Caged kids’ parents get sentenced to 2 years 2007-02-16
Make sure reforms tied to ‘caged kids’ case will really work as intended 2007-02-17
Woman Pleads Guilty In Caged-Kids Case; Social Worker Never Reported Ohio Couple Was Forcing Their Children To Sleep In Cages 2007-02-20
When will adults at the top in Huron County take responsibility for children? 2007-02-23
The Exorcists: The fine line between saving children and torturing them. 2007-03-07
Worker accused of perjury retires 2007-03-08
Gravelles lose appeal to get their kids back 2007-03-15
Abuse was ‘substantiated’: Social worker testifies she knew of Efaw’s past before placing Dixon 2007-03-21
Don’t let more kids suffer abuse or death, shake up agency in Huron County 2007-03-22
No jail for ‘caged kids’ social worker 2007-04-10
Top officials in ‘caged kids’ case tenders resignation 2007-04-11
Social worker gets probation 2007-04-11
World-class new director for child welfare agency needed in Huron County 2007-04-15
New lawyer appointed to ‘caged kids’ 2007-06-16
Gravelles ask for more time, again 2007-08-30
New official to review county office 2007-09-08
Seven of 11 ‘caged kids’ steps away from getting new families 2008-02-23
Gravelles reach agreement to civil protection order terms 2008-04-08
Gravelles still haven’t served 2-year prison terms 2009-01-14
The Cradle v Adopt America Network (Opinion) 2009-03-18
State of Ohio v Michael Gravelle and Sharen Gravelle 2009-03-31
Gravelles ordered to jail for child endangering, abuse 2009-04-01
Gravelles begin sentences: Couple reports to Huron County Jail to await 2-year prison stay 2009-04-07
Caged kids sue adoptive parents, caseworkers, others 2009-10-21
Two of 11 ‘caged kids’ sue former parents for their abuse 2009-10-23
$1.2M settlement reached in Ohio caged kids case 2010-03-10
Caged kids to share $1.2M in deal 2010-03-11
Gross Abuses Alleged in Foster Child System 2010-11-17