It's Splitsville for Gravelles

Cary Ashby • Oct 29, 2015 at 12:12 PM

Michael Gravelle has agreed to stay 100 feet away from his wife for the next year or until their divorce is complete.

Mansfield attorney Jennifer Keller, who represents Michael, said the Clarksfield Township couple hasn’t filed for divorce yet, but Sharen’s attorney plans to do so “in the near future.”

Linda Fritz-Gasteier said the consent agreement in the civil protection order (CPO) case is mutually beneficial because her client, Sharen Gravelle, would get the protection she wanted.

Keller agreed. “There won’t be any litigated hearings on the matter. There won’t be any findings of domestic violence,” she said.

Michael Gravelle, 59, is accused of grabbing Sharen, 59, by the arm with his right arm, swinging her around and throwing a punch at her chin during a March 10 incident at a Sandusky business parking lot. Sandusky Police Officer Major Ruffin III, in his report, said Sharen Gravelle pulled away and the punch hit her in the shoulder and “slightly chipped” her chin.

The confrontation stemmed from Sharen earlier that evening finding several of her deceased father’s tools, which her husband brought to the Cleveland Road business to be auctioned. After the incident, police ordered Michael Gravelle to stay away from his wife until the matter was resolved because she was “worried about what her husband may do to her after he was released,” Ruffin wrote.

The Gravelles and their attorneys met behind closed doors Monday before a scheduled hearing on the CPO.

“We settled before the hearing and went into court to go on the record,” Keller said.

Huron County Magistrate Bradley Sales approved the consent agreement and made sure the rural Wakeman couple understood the terms.

Keller said consent agreements are “extremely common” in CPO cases stemming from domestic violence allegations. The consent agreement means the Gravelles worked out an agreement in order to avoid a court hearing.

“I handle CPOs pretty often. I do a lot of family law,” Keller said.

Both the Gravelles are appealing a two-year prison term on multiple convictions of child abuse and child endangerment. Some of the couple’s 11 former adopted children, some of whom slept in cage-like structures which also were used for punishment, are in the process of being adopted in other homes.

Keller didn’t know if the pending divorce was related to the stress from the criminal case.

“I believe that’s a relatively recent issue,” the attorney said about the couple discussing a divorce. “With the parties, I don’t know. I’ve only been involved a couple weeks.”

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