Jewish World Review Feb. 12, 2001 /19 Shevat, 5761
Child torturer grad is walking
free -- and using an alias
PLYMOUTH, Ind. | Joseph Grad, sent to prison
in 1998 for the systematic torture of his
6-year-old son, has been freed and is back in
this rural part of north-central Indiana.
Law-enforcement officials say that Grad is using
a different name.
The boy he tortured -- the child Grad locked repeatedly in a dark, tiny
bathroom closet for 24 hours at a time, caged in tightly wrapped wire,
chained so he could not sit down to rest, urinated and rubbed feces upon -- is
living in this same part of Indiana, although in a different county.
Grad's conditions of release mandate that he have no contact with the boy.
But -- as Marshall County Judge Robert O. Bowen told us when Grad was
first about to be released last year -- "There are no guarantees." In crimes
such as this, Judge Bowen said, "The victim harbors fears, feels in need of
As a condition of release, Grad must remain in Starke County -- directly west
of Marshall County, where the torture of the boy occurred -- and may not
leave the county without permission from law authorities. The location where
the child now lives has not been publicly announced, but it is evident that he is
not in Starke County, because of the provision confining Grad to Starke.
According to Starke County Prosecuting Atty. Kim Hall, Grad is working in
a factory within the county, and is using the name Joseph Clemons.
"Our main concern is the protection of the boy [for whose torture Grad was
sent to prison], and other children," Hall told us.
Hall said that, while in an Indiana state prison in Westville, Grad was
divorced from his wife Carmen, who also was in prison for her part in the
torture. Hall said while in prison Grad married a woman named Angela M.
Clemons. Hall said he is uncertain whether the two remain married -- but that
Grad has been calling himself Joseph Clemons since being released.
In Marshall County, Sheriff Bob Ruff told us: "We've been notified that he is
Joseph Clemons now. He's not supposed to come into this county without us
In September of 1998, Judge Bowen sentenced Grad to 4 1/2 years in prison
for the torture of the boy. During sentencing, the judge said: "My only
reservation concerning this sentence is that the law does not allow me to
impose anything more." Marshall County Prosecuting Atty. Curtis D. Palmer
told us: "It's unfortunate that he's ever getting out."
Still, 4 1/2 years was 4 1/2 years. But -- as we reported last year -- Grad
was granted early release by the Indiana Department of Correction. He was
released more than three years early because of policies giving inmates a day
of credit for each day served; another six months were knocked off because
Grad completed some school courses in prison.
On the day of his early release -- March 11, 2000 -- Grad was rearrested on
new charges concerning a crime allegedly committed against a different
victim. He was transported from the state prison to the Starke County Jail to
await trial. In July of last year he entered a plea agreement with the state, and
in August was released.
Prosecutor Hall said that Grad/Clemons is supposed to wear an electronic
monitoring device, and to remain at his Starke County residence when not at
"If he violates any of the terms of his probation, he can be sent right back to
prison," Hall said. "He is under other parole conditions from his earlier
sentence -- and if he violates any of them, he can be sent back."
The primary concern of law-enforcement officials, Hall said, is that the boy be
allowed to live safely and without fear, even though Grad is in the area.
Before leaving prison, Grad, according to his attorney, said that he wanted to
resume contact with the boy. The Marshall County Division of Family and
Children, the agency in charge of protecting the boy, never took steps to
terminate Grad's parental rights, even after Grad was imprisoned for the
Carmen Grad -- whose role in the torture of the child was as central as
Joseph Grad's -- is currently living in a halfway house in Ft. Wayne, Ind. She,
too, has expressed a desire to resume a relationship with the boy; she is
scheduled to be released by the fall. She, too, according to law-enforcement
authorities, is using a new name: Carmen Quaife.
And how is the boy doing, with Joseph Grad/Joseph Clemons free, and
Carmen Grad/Carmen Quaife on her way to being free? We will report
JWR contributor Bob Greene is a novelist and columnist. Send your comments to him by clicking here.
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