Nurse charged with sexual assault after incapacitated patient gives birth

A nurse has been charged with sexual assault in a case involving the impregnation of a woman who was incapacitated at a long-term health care facility.

Phoenix Police chief Jeri Williams said at a press conference on Wednesday that investigators arrested Nathan Sutherland and charged him with one count of sexual assault and another of sexual abuse, according to CBS News.

Williams said that Sutherland was a licensed practical nurse who worked at the Hacienda Healthcare facility. He added that Sutherland was the nurse tasked with providing care for the woman at the time the sexual assault occurred.

The charges stem from an investigation that was opened at the Hacienda Healthcare facility after the 29-year-old woman, who has been incapacitated since she was 3, gave birth to a boy in December.

Employees had claimed that they had no idea the woman was pregnant. Her last known physical occurred in April 2018, according to reports. 

Police served a search warrant to test the DNA of all male employees at the private nursing facility earlier this month.

Sgt. Tommy Thompson with Phoenix police said that investigators determined that Sutherland’s DNA matched the baby’s on Tuesday, according to CBS 5, a local news station in Arizona.

Initial reports said that the woman was in a vegetative state. Her family has since said that she is not in that condition, but has “significant intellectual disabilities as a result of seizures very early in her childhood,” CBS 5 noted.

The news station reported that the woman’s primary care doctor was suspended by Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System last week.

Bill Timmons, the CEO of Hacienda HealthCare in Phoenix, resigned earlier this month amid the investigation.