Published January 13, 2015
A social worker who knew that a couple forced some of their 11 adopted special-needs children to sleep in cages avoided a jail sentence Tuesday.
Elaine Thompson, 64, cried tears after she received a suspended three-month jail sentence and five years probation during which she cannot practice as a social worker.
She had counseled Michael and Sharen Gravelle, who in February were sentenced to two years each in prison for four felony child endangering convictions and seven misdemeanors. They remain free on bond pending their appeal.
Thompson pleaded guilty in February to three counts of failing to report a crime. She had testified at the Gravelles' custody hearing that the children's behavior improved with use of the cages.
The judge ordered Thompson to serve 500 hours community service and pay $2,250 in fines.