More than six weeks after having 11 “caged” special-needs children removed from their home near Wakeman, Ohio, Michael and Sharen Gravelle gave the Cleveland Plain Dealer their side of the story. “We took kids that nobody else wanted,” Michael said “We’re trying to help children. That’s where our heart is.” Huron County authorities removed the children on Sept. 9 after receiving a tip that the youngsters, ranging in age from 1 to 14, were sleeping in cagelike structures. The Gravelles have not been charged with any crime, but custody hearings are scheduled for Thursday and Dec. 6. The children are in four foster homes.
Michael said he could no longer remain quiet while people label his wife as the “world’s most evil mother.” Prosecutor Russ Leffler said Friday that the couple was adopting children for a financial windfall. “You could not pay me enough to do the things we had to do,” a tearful Michael said. “There is nothing easy about raising these children. We did not abuse them. That’s the truth.”