A woman who has been kept in a vegetative state for a decade at the Phoenix Hacienda HealthCare facility gave birth to a baby boy just days after Christmas, and now police are investigating for sexual assault.
The victim, who receives 24-hour care at the facility, began making noises when she went into labor.
“From what I’ve been told, she was moaning,” a source told Phoenix CBS affiliate KPHO. “And they didn’t know what was wrong with her. … None of the staff were aware that she was pregnant until she was pretty much giving birth."
The baby is reportedly alive and healthy.
A Phoenix police spokesman told The Washington Post an investigation has been opened into the case. The nursing facility has released a statement saying they are committed to finding the truth.
“As an organization, Hacienda HealthCare stands fully committed to getting to the truth of what, for us, represents an unprecedented matter,” David Leibowitz, spokesman for Hacienda HealthCare, said in a statement to the Washington Post.
“[We’re] already conducting a comprehensive internal review of our processes, protocols, and people to ensure that every single Hacienda resident is as safe and well cared for as possible. Anything less than that is unacceptable to our team, our company’s leaders and the communities we serve,” the statement continued.
At this time, no suspects have been identified and no arrests have been made.
Karina Cesena, the mother of the victim, is now sleeping by her 22-year-old daughter’s bedside until the attacker is arrested, reported KTVK.
“Trust has been broken. Trust has definitely been broken,” Cesena said of the Hacienda facility.
Cesena’s daughter nearly drowned 14 years ago and was left with a traumatic brain injury that caused her to have hundreds of seizures a day.
Now at the health center, more security guards are present and a new protocol requiring male staffers to be accompanied by female staffers if they go into a female patient’s room has been put into place.
Family members of other patients fear there may be more victims at Hacienda HealthCare, which has a history of patient mistreatment.
In 2013, an investigation found that a staff member made “inappropriate, sexual statements” about four clients. The worker also watched clients in the facility touch themselves. Additionally, the alleged incidents weren’t reported for a month. That staff member was fired.
(Photo: Cherayut Jankitrattanapokkin / EyeEm / Getty Images)