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Published: Tuesday, 2/20/2007

Therapist pleads guilty in 'caged kids' case


NORWALK A Lorain County therapist charged with failing to report the abuse of adopted children who were kept in caged beds pleaded guilty this morning to three misdemeanors.

Elaine Thompson, 64, of Elyria, Ohio is to be sentenced April 10 by Huron County Common Pleas Judge Earl McGimpsey.

Just last week, Sharen and Michael Gravelle were each sentenced to two years in prison by Judge McGimpsey for forcing some of their adopted, special-needs children to sleep in cages.

Ms. Thompson, a licensed independent social worker who worked with the Gravelles and their 11 children, was indicted last year on 16 third-degree felony counts of aiding and abetting child endangering, eight counts of first-degree misdemeanor counts of aiding and abetting child endangering, and eight counts of failure to report child abuse or neglect, all fourth-degree misdemeanors.

She pleaded guilty to three counts of failure to report, second-degree misdemeanors each punishable by up to 90 days in jail.

Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler said he agreed to the amended charges in part because of the prospect of another lengthy trial that most likely would have been moved out of town.

We ve been doing this for two years, he said. I think it s time for a little closure.

Contact Jennifer Feehan at: jfeehan@theblade.com or 419-353-5279

Read more in later editions of The Blade and on toledoblade.com .

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