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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 September 2005, 12:49 GMT 13:49 UK
Eleven US children 'found caged'
House in Wakeman, Ohio, where the children were found
One boy told sheriffs he had slept in a cage for three years
Eleven children have been removed from a home in the US state of Ohio where they were apparently locked up in small cages, the authorities have said.

The children, aged one to 14, said they slept in cells only one metre (40in) high. They had no pillows or blankets, according to a Huron County sheriff.

The children's adoptive and foster parents denied abusing or neglecting them at a custody court hearing.

The 11 children have now been placed with foster families.

They were removed from the house in Wakeman, northern Ohio, after a children's services investigator spotted one of the children in a cage.

Lt Randy Sommers, of Huron County Sheriff's Office, told the Associated Press that they had found nine cages built into the wall of an upstairs bedroom.

The cages had alarms that went off if opened, he said.

One of the boys said he had been made to sleep in a cage at night for three years, Lt Sommers said. The doors to some of the cells were blocked with heavy furniture.

Prosecutors are reviewing the case against Sharen and Mike Gravelle, who are foster or adoptive parents to all the children. No charges had been filed as of Monday night.

County prosecutor Russell Leffler said the couple claimed a psychiatrist had recommended the children be caged, AP reports.

The children were said to have a range of disabilities including autism and foetal alcohol disorder.

US couple held over caged boys
27 Aug 03 |  Americas


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