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Medina man has history of lying, mental health issues

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    Brian Rini

    OHIO DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

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Brian Rini, the Medina man who authorities say claimed to be an Illinois boy who disappeared eight years ago, has a local police record that is vast and shows a lengthy history of lying to police and suffering from mental health issues.

The most serious of his allegations includes a tale in which he told police in November 2013 that a family member raped him, according to a Medina police report.

It is not known if this incident is one of two referenced in an affidavit filed Friday in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. In the documents, which detail Rini’s federal charge, the FBI found that Rini had on two prior occasions attempted to pass himself off as a sex trafficking victim.

When he made the allegation against the family member in 2013, Rini was an inmate at Medina County Jail, where he was being held on a charge of filing a false police report. He told a corrections officer at the jail that he had been raped three weeks prior to his incarceration and wanted to file a report.

A Medina police officer went to the jail to take his statement.

According to the report, Rini told the officer he was near Public Square when he ran into the estranged family member and the two went together to a motel in Medina. That is where Rini told police he was sexually assaulted and threaten that if he told anyone about the incident he would be killed.

Rini told the officer the same thing happened to him when he was 8 and again when he was 9, but he waited years before reporting the abuse.

Rini initially denied lying to the officer; the report does indicate Medina police were aware of Rini’s history of fabricating stories.

“Brian has a history of being untruthful and is currently incarcerated for filing a false report of a bomb threat (during which he contacted the FBI),” wrote Officer Joshua Grusendorf.

Grusendorf conducted an investigation including interviews with the motel manager, other family members and children services caseworkers who were familiar with the Rini family. He could not verify Rini’s story, the report said, and at one point asked Rini if he was lying in an attempt to get the family member sent to jail for a crime they did not commit.

Rini finally recanted his story, claiming he was off his medication and was charged with falsification. He was sentenced to one year of probation.

The incident is one in a string of brushes with the law that led to Wednesday’s attempt by Rini to pass himself off as the missing Illinois boy.

Within the Medina police reports dating back to 2012, a pattern of behavior is painted that shows a history of Rini concocting a story and police unraveling the made-up details. Many times criminal charges follow.

Among several other brushes with the Medina police:

  • May 2012: He accused someone of assaulting him near a nursing home. When police took him home, his mother accused him of lying and making it up.
  • August 2013: Rini said a brother at home had threatened him. He told police his brother was going to stab him. He told a counselor that he no longer felt comfortable at home. Rini’s mother and brother denied any kind of domestic dispute happened in the home.
  • October 2013: Rini was charged with falsification, a first-degree misdemeanor, for an alleged bomb threat to the FBI about blowing up Medina High School. He was taken to Medina County Jail.
  • February 2015: Rini alleged in a police report that several thousand dollars combined went missing from his mother’s bank account and from his personal account. It turns out he purchased several items, including an Xbox 360 bundle, laptop, two smoke detectors, an all-in-one computer, a phone and food. He said someone must have hacked into his account.
  • June 2015: He called the Medina police department’s non-emergency number requesting the fire department go to three areas of the city for a possible gas leak. Officers recognized his voice, and Rini eventually admitted making a phony call to police. He was arrested for making false alarms, a first-degree misdemeanor, and taken to Medina County Jail.
  • November 2017: Rini reportedly used his brother Jonathan Rini’s insurance card at Southwest General Hospital in Akron. His brother only realized it when he received a bill in the mail for $1,409. It’s not known if he was charged with fraud.

Rini’s exploits landed him in prison.

He was released from Belmont Correctional Institution in St. Clairsville in southeast Ohio on March 7 after serving about 15 months. The sentence stemmed from an August 2017 party Rini and three friends threw at a model home in Brunswick Hills Township that caused $1,250 worth of damage.

According to a police report, the men went to a home listed for sale Stag Thicket Lane and threw a party.

A police report said Rini had visited the home as a potential buyer prior to the incident with a real estate agent from Howard Hanna Real Estate. Two days later, Rini introduced himself to neighbors and told them he had purchased the house and was hosting a party that night.

Police noted there were no signs of forced entry. The real estate agent told police she believes Rini obtained the garage code from the keypad without her consent.

Contact reporter Bob Finnan at (330) 421-4049 or rfinnan@medina-gazette.com.


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