Phoenix police arrested and charged a Hacienda Healthcare nurse in connection with the sexual assault of a patient who gave birth while in a vegetative state.
36-year-old Nathan Sutherland has been charged with one count of sexual assault and one count of vulnerable adult abuse for raping the 29-year-old victim who has been in the care of the facility since she was 3 years old, reported ABC 15 Arizona.
According to a police spokesperson, the baby boy, who was born in late December, is doing “quite well.”
After the birth of the child, court-ordered DNA samples were collected from all the male employees at the facility.
Additionally, Hacienda CEO Bill Timmons resigned two weeks ago after the sexual assault was reported and two physicians who provided care to the victim also left the facility.
Police said “old-fashioned police work” helped them narrow their search down to Sutherland, who met with police on Tuesday. Officials then collected a DNA sample, which matched the DNA of the victim’s baby.
Sutherland, who was first licensed as a clinical nursing assistant in 2005 before becoming a nursing practitioner, has worked at Hacienda since 2011. The 36-year-old is a Haitian orphan and a devote Christian who has performed religious rap music with his sister at several churches, reported the Daily Mail.
After Sutherland was arrested, Hacienda Healthcare released a statement that read in part:
"Nathan Sutherland, who held a current state of Arizona practical nurse's license and who had undergone an extensive background check upon hiring - was terminated from Hacienda the moment our leadership team learned of his arrest. As we have since the first minutes of this police investigation, the Hacienda team will continue to cooperate with investigators from multiple agencies in every way possible.
In the past two weeks, the Hacienda team has increased security measures to ensure the safety of all our patients. We will continue to do so. We also will continue to review and improve what is already an in-depth vetting process for caregivers at Hacienda. We will not tolerate any mistreatment of a Hacienda patient, nor will we stop until every Hacienda patient is as safe as we can make them."
(Photo: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
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