Male Nurse Accused of Abusing Over 100 Nursing Home Residents

Posted on Feb 13, 2008

Jurors in Sandusky, Ohio will determine the fate of a male nurse accused of abusing over 100 nursing home residents during a 22-year career. Included in physical and mental abuse charges is one of rape against a blind and partially paralyzed resident of the Concord Care & Rehabilitation Center, according to the Sandusky Register.

John Riems is being held at the Erie County jail on $100,000 bond while he waits for a grand jury's decision on his case. Riems was arrested at Concord, where he had worked for almost three years, according to police.

Suspicious of foul play at Concord, two sons from Sandusky have since sued the nursing home for $175,000 on charges Riems physically and mentally abused their father, Vincent Bilgen, who had resided at Concord since 2005.

During police questioning after his arrest, Riems admitted to abusing 100 patients in 22 years. In addition, he 49-year-old nurse admitted to abusing 13 residents at Concord, police said.

In its lawsuit, the Bilgen family claims Riems and Concord are liable for abuse. The suit says Concord was negligent in hiring Riems and is in violation of state law, which protects residents of nursing homes, the Register reported. Riems worked at 12 other nursing facilities since earning his nursing degree in 1985, the Register said. That averages to one nursing venue every year and a half.

Counsel for the Bilgens, James Murray, said, "It's hard to imagine the behavior continued for years and years and no one had an idea there might have been some patient abuse occurring," he said. "The Bilgen family was not aware of the abuse until Mr. Riems was charged criminally," the attorney added. "But they suspected their loved one might be one of the abused."

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