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Child abuse reports have maintained a steady growth for the past ten years, with the total number of reports nationwide increasing 45% since 1987 (NCPCA)

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Ohio CPS News Archive

Ohio News Coverage

Having a family member step in to care for a relative's children when the state takes them away is better for the children than foster care, research shows. It makes sense that a grandmother can help a child thrive and feel connected and loved.

It also saves taxpayer money. Yet, Ohio will soon strip day-care vouchers from about 1,000 people who are employed and have custody of relatives' kids, but can't afford day care themselves. The state has ordered counties to stop giving child-care vouchers to people caring for relatives' kids unless they meet federal poverty guidelines.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer

July 31, 2008

by Glenn Sacks

A few days ago I shared this outrageous story with you-Father Jailed Because His Adult Daughter Fails to Get Her GED. The father Brian Gegner was ordered to see to it that his daughter gets her GED, but she has not done so.

The daughter's problems in school came at a time when she lived with her mother. The daughter herself-now almost 19-years-old-says that she alone is responsible for her own problems and that her father shouldn't be blamed. Nevertheless, the father is in jail on a six month sentence.

Blogger News Network

May 14, 2008

As anti-male as family courts are, this story is still a little hard to believe. The case is described in the story Man Jailed After Daughter Fails To Get GED (WCPO TV, 5/9/08).

"A Fairfield man is in jail because his daughter hasn't gotten her General Equivalency Diploma (GED)." "A judge ordered the father to stay on top of his daughter's education months ago and when that order wasn't followed, Brian Gegner was sentenced to 180-days in the Butler County jail."

Glenn Sacks

May 11, 2008

by Jerome R. Corsi

Over half the birthing facilities in Ohio are being equipped with an RFID infant protection system placed on infants at birth to prevent them from being abducted from the hospital or from being given to the wrong mother.

"Standard protocol in the hospitals using the VeriChip system is that the baby receives an RFID anklet at birth and the mother receives a matching wristband," VeriChip spokeswoman Allison Tomek told WND. "The mothers are not asked."

World Net Daily (OH)

January 15, 2008

NORWALK -- The couple convicted of abusing some of their 11-disabled children and forcing them to sleep in wire and wooden cages has lost in their attempt to have the U.S. Supreme Court to hear an appeal in their custody case

Michael Gravelle, 57, and his wife, Sharen, 58, of Norwalk, were found guilty last December following a three week trial of four felony counts of child endangering, two misdemeanor counts of child endangering and five misdemeanor counts of child abuse.   They were sentenced to two years in prison each and are free on appeal. Their criminal appeal is not expected to be heard until early next year.

North Country Gazette (OH)

December 1, 2007

WAKEMAN -- The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the custody appeal of two parents convicted of abusing some of their 11 adopted, special-needs children and making them sleep in cages.

The court ruled this week that it won't hear an appeal by Michael and Sharen Gravelle of Wakeman, about 60 miles west of Cleveland, who were trying to regain custody.

Record Pub

December 1, 2007

Ohio legislators are responding to a need to improve state law regarding how foster children are placed and monitored. Unfortunately, the plan lawmakers are considering would mean less, not more, protection for the children.

Government is turning to technology as part of its strategy to address the problem. A $92 million computer system, the Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System, is being established to help local and state agencies monitor the foster care program. The system will provide information on foster children but only to state agencies.

The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register (OH)

November 7, 2007

by Ron Barber

Braley came to Columbus as a star witness supporting SB 183, he portrayed himself as a 14-year-old girl on a field trip to the Statehouse in e-mails to Barry Mentser, a local lawyer who was trying to have with the "girl" he met online.

Mentser, 48, 1267 Harrison Pond Dr., Gahanna, is a former staff attorney for Franklin County Children Services whose recent practice has focused on civil and domestic relations court. He was charged with attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, a third-degree felony that carries a prison sentence of up to five years.

November 2, 2007

by Maureen Kocot

A man was arrested Wednesday morning at the Ohio Statehouse after authorities said he set up a meeting with a 14-year-old girl who he thought was visiting the building on a field trip.

Investigators told 10TV News that Mentser, 48, asked the teenager to meet him outside of the Statehouse's cafeteria. It was there that Mentser was taken into custody, Kocot reported.


November 1, 2007

by Erica Blake

In a crowded Lucas County Common Pleas Courtroom last week, Weaver was sentenced to serve three years in prison for slowly poisoning her son.

She was convicted by a jury May 4 on one count of child endangering after prosecutors proved that she had been giving her son chronic doses of Ipecac, an over-the-counter drug that induces vomiting.

Scripps News (OH)

June 14, 2007

LORAIN, Ohio - A former principal who kissed the feet of three male students to settle a bet on a volleyball game entered a no-contest plea to a misdemeanor sex charge.

Robert Holloway resigned from St. Anthony of Padua School in this town west of Cleveland after the 14-year-old students and their parents reported the foot-kissing to police in February 2006. Holloway told authorities he paid each student $15 and kissed their bare feet 50 times.

The Seattle Times

April 18, 2007

by Sheila McLaughlin

The company that placed 3-year-old Marcus Fiesel in a deadly foster home sued the state of Ohio for $1 million Tuesday, saying the state spread lies that cost it business.

Lifeway For Youth Inc. of New Carlisle filed suit against the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services in the Ohio Court of Claims in Columbus, saying the agency's motives were "purely political."

The Cincinnati Enquirer (OH)

April 14, 2007

A Hamilton man's every move will be monitored after being convicted of several charges in a Warren County courtroom.

Daniel Durbin, 34, will wear a GPS monitoring device after he serves a 39 day sentence after he was found guilty of a felony charge of Menacing by stalking, Domestic violence and violation of a protection order.

WXIX Fox 19 (OH)

March 7, 2007

BATAVIA - Liz Carroll, convicted of murder and six other charges in connection with the death of Marcus Fiesel, will be an 84-year-old woman before she's eligible for parole.

Prior to her sentencing Thursday, Carroll apologized for the lies that prompted thousands of people to search for her 3-year-old foster child after she claimed he was missing.

The Cincinnati Enquirer (OH)

February 22, 2007

by Barrett J. Brunsman

Liz Carroll leaned her head into her left hand and sobbed after being found guilty Wednesday of murdering her foster son, Marcus Fiesel.

She could be sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole for 15 years on the murder charge. Judge Robert P. Ringland is to sentence her at 11 a.m. Thursday.

The Cincinnati Enquirer (OH)

February 21, 2007

A week after the parents of 11-special needs adoptive children were sentenced to two years in prison, a social worker who was aware of the situation pleaded guilty to three misdemeanors of failing to report a crime.

Elaine Thompson, 64, of Elyria, was a private social worker who first contacted Sharen and Michael Gravelle in 2000. Gravelle had testified that Thompson was aware of the sleeping arrangements and had approved the wire and wood enclosures.

North Country Gazette (OH)

February 21, 2007

by Jim Sielicki

Caged-kids defense team grilled at hearing on bid for a new trial.

A skeptical Huron County common pleas judge yesterday questioned defense lawyers over the significance of documents the prosecutor allegedly withheld from them during the caged-kids trial that led to the convictions of Michael and Sharen Gravelle.

The Toledo Blade (OH)

January 26, 2007

by Kelly Hassett

A Franklin County Children Services supervisor must approve a caseworker's decision not to investigate allegations of child abuse or neglect under new rules instituted by the agency.

The move is one of several changes made as the agency looks into what happened in the case of 11-month-old Nicholas Goodrich. The boy died just weeks after several people called Children Services workers in Franklin and Delaware counties with concerns about his care. A case was never opened.

The Columbus Dispatch (OH)

January 20, 2007

by Joel Rutchick

While Latisha Smith waited for a critical child-custody hearing to begin in Juvenile Court last spring, a woman she didn't know approached her with some advice.

Donna Butler, the county social worker who had taken Smith's children away, was someone to be wary of, the woman told her: Butler was known for mistreating people and beating them down.

The Plain Dealer

January 16, 2007

by Mark Puente

Huron County social workers failed to protect the adopted children of Michael and Sharen Gravelle, said a juror who recently helped convict the couple of 11 counts of child endangering and abuse.

The children suffer from a range of disorders that cause defiant rages and eating of items like wood and hardware. The county removed the children from the Gravelle home in September 2005, and the couple lost custody of the children in March.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer (OH)

January 4, 2007

by Jim Sielicki

The Huron County judge hearing the child-endangering trial against Michael and Sharen Gravelle reduced half of 16 felony charges to misdemeanors and predicted the case would be ripe for appeals.

During the afternoon hearing, Judge McGimpsey twice recessed to his chambers to review conflicting appellate decisions. Those rulings govern whether testimony from expert witnesses is required in certain child-abuse cases.

The Toledo Blade (OH)

December 16, 2006

by Jim Sielicki

Two of the 11 adopted children removed from the home of Michael and Sheren Gravelle, who are on trial for child abuse, testified yesterday about their life in a house of punishment and humiliation.

A 14-year-old boy testified that he was forced to sleep in a bathtub for 81 days with two sheets and sometimes a blanket. He said he was forced to stay in the tub because of his bed-wetting problem.

The Toledo Blade (OH)

December 7, 2006

by Mark A. Puente

Michael and Sharen Gravelle were not good parents to their 11 adopted children, their daughter testified Wednesday.

Huron County Prosecutor Russ Leffler asked her to describe the wood-and-wire enclosures that six of the children slept inside. "They looked like little jails," she said.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer (OH)

December 7, 2006

by Joe Milicia

A boy who had been adopted by a couple on trial for allegedly caging some of their children testified yesterday that he did not like the enclosure that he slept in because it was small and hot.

He said some children were struck as punishment. The boy, the first of several of the adopted children expected to testify in the trial of Michael and Sharen Gravelle, also told the jury that he was sent to a cage for weeks at a time as punishment.

The Boston Globe (OH)

December 7, 2006

by Heather Chapin-Fowler

NORWALK -- Michael Gravelle looked forward to adopting more children so he could quit his full-time job, according to testimony from his neighbor Laurie Oney.

When asked by Leffler if the child displays any unusual behavior, Smith said sometimes he has bad dreams that result in him crying out at night in his sleep. Ken Myers, defense attorney for Sharen Gravelle, asked Smith, ''Are you aware that the night before you got him he attempted to catch his bed on fire?"

Zwire (OH)

December 6, 2006

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