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Archive for Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Couple lose custody of children they caged

March 21, 2006

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— Michael and Sharen Gravelle, accused of forcing some of their 11 adopted children to sleep in cages, say they took care of youngsters no one else wanted.

Now a county child welfare agency in Norwalk must find others willing to do the same.

A judge on Monday stripped the Gravelles of custody of the children, saying there was a good chance they would mistreat the children again. He cited a history of sexual abuse allegations against the father.

Last fall, the children were spread among foster homes after a social worker found the cages. Juvenile Judge Timothy Cardwell's ruling means a search will begin for people willing to permanently adopt the children.

The children, ages 2 to 15, suffered from psychological and behavioral problems. They also are black - and minorities can be hard to place even if they don't have disabilities.

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