Accused nursing home rapist John Riems pleaded not guilty to 14 more felony charges Thursday morning from the Erie County jail.
The 50-year-old Sandusky man wore a suit and tie and dress shoes at the hearing and stood unshackled beside his attorney, Troy Wisehart. Earlier this year presiding Judge Tygh Tone approved a request that Riems be allowed to wear street clothes at his hearings.
Magistrate Patrick Quinn conducted the hearing. Riems said nothing, appearing calm and with his hands clasped behind his back during the proceedings.
“He understands the nature of the offense,” Wisehart said as he entered a not guilty plea on behalf of his client.
The most recent charges — 12 counts of rape and two counts of felonious sexual penetration — stem from an ongoing investigation by police. Riems already faced one count of gross sexual imposition and three counts each of rape, sexual battery and patient abuse.
During questioning in January, Riems recalled abusing nearly 100 patients during his 22-year nursing career, police said.
His original charges stemmed from allegations he abused two male patients at Concord Care and Rehabilitation Center in Perkins Township. One victim is a 55-year-old blind and partially paralyzed man, and the other is a man in his 80s, investigators said.
On the way out of the jail courtroom, Wisehart said good-bye to his client.
“Hang in there, OK?” he said.
A pretrial hearing is set for Sept. 24 in the case. Riems remains in the Erie County jail on $500,000 bond.