Judge: Riems' videotaped confession can be shown at trial

SANDUSKY An ex-nurse and nightshift supervisor's confession that he sexually violated a patient will
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

SANDUSKY

An ex-nurse and nightshift supervisor's confession that he sexually violated a patient will be admitted into his upcoming trial.

Erie County Common Pleas Judge Tygh Tone ruled Thursday in a judgment entry John Riems' confession to investigators is admissible. He denied a motion filed by Riems' attorney, Troy Wisehart, to have the confession suppressed.

Click HERE for continuous coverage of the Riems case.

Wisehart argued in his motion that Perkins Police Det. Al Jenkins and Erie County Det. Jared Oliver violated Riems' Miranda rights, refused to allow him to speak with an attorney when he asked for one and used coercive tactics to obtain incriminating statements.

"It was very disappointing," Wisehart said of Tone's ruling."I obviously would have liked for it to go the other way, and it should have."

Wisehart also filed a motion Thursday for an extension that would delay the start of Riem's trial, slated for Tuesday, by two months or more if granted.

Riems faces charges of rape, gross sexual imposition, sexual battery and other related charges.

The original allegation against Riems came to light last January when a patient at the Concord Care and Rehabilitation Centerindicated to family membersRiems sexually violated him.

Investigators say Riemsadmitted to the allegation. He also provided a written list of 23 victims and said he sexually violated about 100 patients in his 22-year career.

In his ruling, Tone noted the two detectives made it clear Riems was never under arrest and was free to leave when being questioned about allegations he fondled and digitally penetrated the 55-year-old patient, who could not speak and was blind.

Tone said Riems "orally waived his Miranda rights and signed the Miranda warnings form" --indicating he understood his rights before officials administered a CVSA exam.

A CVSA exam is used by law enforcement to determine whether a suspect is being untruthful.

After Riems showed deception during the exam, he confessed to holding the penis of the 55-year-old victim for sexual gratification and placing his finger in the same patient's rectum.

At one point, Riems askedDet. Oliver, "Do I need a lawyer right now?"

Det. Oliver: "That's entirely up to you. I'm not going to give you legal advice."

Riems: "I think I do." (emphasis added).

Detective Oliver: "Here's the deal, if you want to talk to an attorney, that is up to you. I'm willing to listen to you. I'm willing to work with you right now..."

Tone said Ohio law requires a defendant's request for a lawyer to be clear and said the phrase, "I think I do," is not a sure assertion for an attorney.

As for the accusation the two detectives coerced a confession, Tone said his review of the confession video showed there was "alack of physical deprivation or mistreatment, and lack of threats that would lead to inducement."

Wisehart in the fall of 2008 introduced to the court a videotaped deposition of a former nurse, who is one of Riems alleged victims. In the video, the woman said Riems never violated her. The woman has since died. Wisehart also said there is a possibility Riems could still elect to take a plea deal in the case. Riems is being held on a $500,000 bond in the Erie County Jail.