Where else did John Riems work?

PERKINS TWP. A man accused of raping a disabled nursing home resident may have worked at as many as
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

PERKINS TWP.

A man accused of raping a disabled nursing home resident may have worked at as many as 10 nursing homes in three counties, police say.

Investigators are trying to confirm John R. Riems' employment records at those homes, Perkins police Chief Tim McClung said Thursday.

The names and locations of those facilities have not yet been released.

Riems, 49, is charged with rape and gross sexual imposition. He is accused of sexually assaulting a 55-year-old blind and partially paralyzed male resident at Concord Care and Rehabilitation Center.

Riems is being held on $100,000 bond at Erie County jail while police track down leads on other patients who also may have been abused during Riems' 22-year career as a registered nurse.

During questioning, Riems recalled abusing nearly 100 patients during his career, McClung said. Calls have since poured in from concerned relatives of residents at Concord Care and other nursing homes who fear their loved ones might have been abused by Riems.

Four patient abuse investigators from the Ohio Attorney General's office have been called in to assist with the case, McClung said.

"I think it's probably a little unusual to have four folks working on one case," said Ted Hart, spokesman for the Ohio Attorney General's office.

Callers are asked to be patient while police look into each lead, McClung said.

"We don't want the families to think we don't care," he said. "They will receive a call from either us or the state."

Cynthia Wilson, an employee at the home for two years, said she was fired this month after Riems, her supervisor, filed a complaint against her.

Wilson said Riems was physically and verbally abusive to both residents and co-workers.

"We always knew he was weird," she said. "Of course we didn't know he'd be doing something like that."

Wilson said management at Concord Care has worked extensively to cover up reports of resident abuse, even calling residents "bottom of the barrel."

Wilson said she and others told supervisors about Riems' temper and abuse, but the reports were pushed aside.

Concord Care director Jessica Short has declined comment and has twice called police to ask the media to leave the facility's grounds.

Former Concord Care worker Dorothy Robinson said she believes she was fired from her job in December because of a complaint about working overtime.

Robinson recalled seeing residents with bruising and bedsores -- evidence of abuse and neglect. She said she told administrators about the problems, but saw no evidence anything was ever done to correct the situation.

"They've been sweeping stuff under the carpet," she said.

McClung said police have not received any complaints to date regarding misconduct by any Concord Care employees besides Riems.

McClung said he consulted with Erie County Prosecutor Kevin Baxter on the possibility of more charges for Riems. Given the magnitude of the case, he said it would be presented to the grand jury.

"That is the best course of action," McClung said.

Anyone with complaints about patient abuse by nursing home employees can call Perkins police at 419-627-0824.

Reporter Laura Collins contributed to this story.