APNewsBreak: Other lies by child-impostor suspect alleged
By ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A man charged with lying to federal agents about being a missing child was also accused of making up stories while in prison, threatening other inmates and refusing orders from guards, prison records show.
Brian Rini threatened to make a false rape claim against a guard, falsely accused an inmate of tampering with his food, and lied about being short of toilet paper, according to the records obtained by The Associated Press.
Rini, 23, also concocted a story about being harmed by inmates in order to be transferred, a story that fell apart when guards reviewed video, according to the records.
Contrary to Rini's claims, he "can be observed horse playing, and physically making playful contact" with inmates the entire time, according the report on a Dec. 5, 2018, incident at Noble Correctional Institution in southeastern Ohio.
Rini falsified the claim "as a way to attempt to manipulate the system and transfer quick as he is a refusal to lock," the report said, referring to inmates who disobey orders. Details of the specific claim are blacked out.
In just over a year, Rini racked up 15 disciplinary reports while housed at four prisons, the records show.
A message was left Thursday with his federal public defender.
Rini, of Medina, Ohio, is being held without bond after being charged last week with making false statements. Authorities charged him Friday, a day after DNA testing proved he wasn't Timmothy Pitzen, who disappeared in Illinois in 2011 at age 6.
Rini was released on probation last month from state prison after serving more than a year on burglary and vandalism charges.
Federal authorities say he also twice previously portrayed himself to be a juvenile sex trafficking victim.
Rini could face up to eight years in prison if convicted of making false statements to federal agents. He has yet to enter a plea in his case, with a preliminary hearing scheduled for April 19.
Prison reports show:
On March 29, 2018 at Marion Correctional Institution, Rini lied about needing toilet paper even though he had several rolls. "Inmate Rini laughed about it as if it were a joke," the report said.
- On Aug. 6, 2018 at the North Central Correctional Institution in Marion, he told other inmates "he was going to cut their throats after lights out."
- On Aug. 18, 2018, also at NCCI in Marion, he threatened he would make a false prison rape claim against a guard, by "saying you touched me."
- On March 2, 2019, at Belmont Correctional Institution in eastern Ohio, Rini alleged an inmate had urinated on apples he gave Rini, something the inmate denied, according to the disciplinary record.
Police picked up Rini the morning of April 3 after a report that someone was wandering the streets of Newport, Kentucky. They said he told them he was Timmothy and that he had escaped two kidnappers after years of sexual abuse.
Police took him to Cincinnati Children's Hospital for treatment and testing. Federal authorities have said they were skeptical, especially after he refused to be fingerprinted, but didn't want to miss a chance to possibly solve the Pitzen disappearance.
The FBI said DNA testing established his identity as a convicted felon.
In 2017, Rini was treated at an Ohio center for people with mental health or substance abuse problems, according to court papers.
Rini's brother, 21-year-old Jonathan Rini, told The Associated Press on Saturday that his family struggled while growing up. He said it has been four years since he has spoken to his brother.
Timmothy, of Aurora, Illinois, vanished after his mother, Amy Fry-Pitzen, pulled him out of kindergarten, took him on a two-day road trip to a zoo and a water park, and then killed herself at a hotel. She left a note saying that her son was safe with people who would love and care for him, and added: "You will never find him."
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