Newsmax, January 23, 2019
An Arizona male nurse has been charged with raping a severely disabled woman at the long-term care facility where he worked, a crime that came to light only after she gave birth, prosecutors said on Wednesday.
Nathan Sutherland, 36, was arrested by investigators who linked him to the case through DNA evidence after the woman, who is in her 20s, unexpectedly gave birth on Dec. 29 at Hacienda Healthcare Skilled Nursing Facility in Phoenix.
Sutherland, a licensed practical nurse who began working at Hacienda Health care in 2012, was charged with one count each of sexual assault and abuse of a vulnerable adult. He was ordered held on $500,000 bail during a brief appearance in Maricopa County Superior Court.
The Arizona Republic newspaper reported that attorney Dave Gregan said during the hearing that there was no direct evidence against his client, who had no criminal history, and that the defense planned to conduct its own DNA tests.
The woman, who has been disabled since very early childhood as a result of seizures, has spent most of her life in Phoenix’s Hacienda Healthcare.
Though she was initially described as comatose, her parents said in a written statement that although she was disabled she could respond to sound, make facial gestures and had some ability to move her limbs, head and neck.
Hacienda employees were not aware that woman was pregnant before she went into labor, police say, and were first alerted to the case when the baby was born. Police then sought DNA samples from all male employees.
The facility said in a written statement that Sutherland was fired as soon as administrators learned of his arrest.
The baby, a boy who is being cared for by family members, is doing well, police said.