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Published: Tuesday, 4/10/2007

Therapist in caged-kids case is sentenced to 5 years probation


NORWALK, Ohio - A Lorain County therapist who pleaded guilty to failing to report the abuse or neglect of children forced to sleep in cages was sentenced this morning to five years probation.

Huron County Common Pleas Judge Earl McGimpsey also ordered Elaine Thompson, 64, of Elyria to surrender her social worker license for five years, perform 500 hours of community service, and pay a $2,250 fine.

Mrs. Thompson, a licensed, independent social worker, pleaded guilty in February to three counts of failure to report child abuse or neglect, all second-degree misdemeanors punishable by up to 90 days in jail. More than two dozen other charges, including 16 felony counts of aiding and abetting child abuse, were dismissed as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors.

She entered her plea just days after Michael and Sharen Gravelle each were sentenced to two years in prison for forcing some of their 11 adopted, special needs children to sleep in wood-and-wire cages. The couple, who live outside Wakeman in northeast Huron County, were convicted of child endangering and child abuse after a jury trial in December.

Mrs. Thompson was hired by the Huron County Department of Job and Family Services to work with some of the Gravelles' children on behavior issues at the request of the Gravelles.

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

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