Posted on January 25, 2019

Suspect in Rape of Woman in Vegetative State Was Christian Rapper — and His Wife Sought Divorce

Jeff Truesdale, People, January 24, 2019

The nurse accused of sexually assaulting an incapacitated woman who later gave birth in her long-term care facility is a twice-married father hit with divorce papers last month and formerly performed as half of a Christian rap act with his sister.


Sutherland, 36, was arrested Tuesday and charged with one count of sexual assault and one count of vulnerable adult abuse of the 29-year-old victim, police said.


Sutherland was in court Wednesday where his attorney, David Gregan, said Sutherland has no prior criminal record and has the right to seek his own DNA expert to challenge the findings that police say led to his arrest as the alleged biological father of the baby boy born to the victim on Dec. 29, The Associated Press reports.

Sutherland remains in the Maricopa County jail a $500,000 cash bond and has not entered a plea to the charges. PEOPLE’s call to Gregan was not immediately returned.

The birth of the child caught staff members at the nursing facility by surprise, according to a 911 call by a staff member who frantically told the dispatcher, “We had no idea this woman was pregnant.”

Three weeks earlier, Sutherland’s wife had filed for divorce on Dec. 5, Phoenix TV station KPHO reports. The couple had been married since 2012. Sutherland has two underage children from a prior marriage, according to the outlet.

Public records obtained by PEOPLE show that Sutherland {snip} previously held licenses as a clinical nurse assistant, certified nursing aide and nurse assistant dating back to 2005, those records reveal.

Sutherland “had undergone an extensive background check” prior to being hired to work in the Hacienda facility, and was “terminated from Hacienda the moment our leadership team learned of his arrest,” the company said in a statement Wednesday.


Sutherland is an orphaned Haitian immigrant who was adopted by an American couple at the age of 7 along with his then 4-year-old sister, the siblings revealed in an online biography for their musical act, SLS (Sleeplessouljaz).

Sutherland and his sister “understand, and have experienced the less than poor side of life; where you either have a shirt or some used pants with holes in them to wear (no underwear or shoes) and if you got 1 meal a day, you were considered blessed,” according to their biography. “They have never from the birth canal to now have never had anything handed over to them on a silver platter. Their adoptive parents made sure of it.”


Police are investigating whether other patients at the facility also may have been assaulted, and have asked for the public’s help, but so far have no evidence of such behavior. “We are prepared to take this investigation wherever it goes,” said Sgt. Thompson.