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Family Files Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit Against Ohio Facility and Nurse

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The family of an Ohio nursing home resident has filed a lawsuit against a male nurse accused of raping a partially paralyzed patient and sexually abusing at least 13 others. According to an article in the Port Clinton News Herald, the lawsuit alleges that nightshift nurse John Riems, 49, physically and mentally abused their father. The suit, which also lists the nursing home, Concord Care and Rehabilitation Center, as a defendant, seeks more than $175,000 in damages.

Riems, who is facing criminal charges, has admitted, following his arrest, that he abused close to 100 patients since the 1980’s. He has pleaded not guilty to rape and gross sexual imposition charges. In fact, the family of the abused man did not find out about the abuse until Riems was charged with raping another patient recently. So far officials say they have found 14 cases of abuse and are investigating 10 others.

What is unbelievable and disgusting in this case is how the nursing home staff and this nurse’s supervisors knew nothing about his behavior for so many years. How did they miss the red flags? Not only that, but the article says Riems had “an easily discoverable history of patient abuse” even before Corcord hired him. Did the nursing home not even do a background check before hiring this guy to work with people who are vulnerable to say the least?

Our hearts go out to the family of the elderly resident who has reportedly suffered severe physical and emotional injuries as a result of this abuse. He has been a resident for almost three years and it is unimaginable how many times the nurse had abused him and hurt him. Hopefully, the discovery process will bring out more answers in this case and prevent such a heinous crime from occurring in the future and affecting other unsuspecting families.

This story is also a wake-up call for anyone who has older relatives living in a nursing home. When something doesn’t add up or look right, look into it. Always watch for signs of abuse – physical or emotional – in your loved one. If your elder relative is talking about things that seem preposterous, remember this guy’s admissions and what he got away with for so long.

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  • Tonya

    Is there a way to get a contact number to the family of the victim. I think I have a similar situation and I would like to know the signs.

  • kathy

    What about wake up calls for the elderly who are abused by family members? When will our system provide a remedy for that? My sister filed for guardianship of our father (79 yrs) in January 2007. Twenty months later the judge in Logan County Ohio Probate Court still has not made a ruling, while our brother rules, controls and mentally rapes our father and steals his money. Red flags?? There have been red flags all over the place for a long time. After two psychological exams given to our father, where the facts are listed in the second report, of mental abuse and control of our brother, the judge still drags his feet on ruling. Both mental evaluations of our father indicated dementia and his need for a guardian. But the court continues to leave our father in the care of an abusive family member.

  • Stephanie

    My heart is just breaking for all of these people and horror stories. My mother is in a very good home now, although none are without issues. We barely saved her from Arbors West several years ago. It was a nasty ordeal, she was beaten with a walker by her roommate who was KNOWN to have alzhiemers (sp?) and they covered it up, reported she fell. Then they put her in her bed, drugged her up and let her lay there for 2 weeks slowly starving to death because they would bring her food tray, sit it down and leave. Of course she could not feed herself even she could have reached the tray. The ICU doctor told us she was severely dehydrated and malnutritioned, even the ICU nurses and doctors didn’t expect her to make it through another night. We lived hour by hour. If you could see the pictures we have of her you would just cry. She was black and blue from head to toe. Her face was almost unrecgnizable with 2black eyes and a baseball size knot on the back of her head. She almost died, was in ICU for 1 month, step down another 2 weeks, then moved to hospice. After being taken off of everything (my mom cannot handle a lot of meds or things done to her) 3 days later she was sitting up and eating on her own. It was truly a miracle gift from God. We tried to get something done, no one would help us. No attorneys could help us, one asked if she was alive and when we said thankfully yes, thier reply was “Well then what’s the problem?” Can you imagine? Even the investigation by state agencies accomplished nothing. One example of this facility: While mom was in the ICU 3 of us women walked into the nursing home around 6 pm, went straight to her room and proceeded to pack up everything (most of it was packed because as part of thier cover up, they had moved her to another room AFTER the incident) We rolled and carried everything down a hall, around a corner, down another hall, past glass doors to the alzhiemers wing (where at one point a nurse with her med cart was there and looked directly at us), past the front desk (no one there) and out the main front door where our pickup truck was pulled right up to the awning. Not one person questioned us, nor did we see anyone except the afore mentioned nurse and one housecleaning woman that didn’t even speak when she glanced our way. It took us over 2 hours to pack and move a recliner, refrigerator, TV, wheelchair, walker, tons of pictures, nic-nacs, and all the stuff that filled the drawers of several small cabinets. The room smelled like feces and I refused to take her stands, they were disgusting. I bought her new ones. Once we had loaded everything up we had to search for an employee which took several minutes and several halls. We finally found a nurse with a med cart and I gave her a copy of my POA for thier records. The next afternoon (yes I said afternoon!) an employee from the facility called me to ask if I had moved my moms things out of her room because a friend of hers had come to visit and reported that her room was empty.

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