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Nurse was arrested in rape by incapacitated women who gave birth



PHOENIX (AP) – A nurse who was looking after an incapacitated woman on a long-term health service has been accused of raping her weeks after she anesthetized her carers and family by giving birth to a baby boy, police police said. Wednesday.

Investigators arrested Nathan Sutherland, a licensed practicing nurse, suspected of a number of sexual assaults and a number of vulnerable abuse, said Phoenix chief of police Jeri Williams.

"We owe this to the victim. We owe this arrest to the newest member of our community – the innocent baby," Williams said.

Last month's surprise birth triggered state body reviews and highlighted security issues for patients with severe disabilities or incapacitation. It also encouraged the authorities to test the DNA one of all the men who worked at the Hacienda HealthCare facility.

Sutherland, 36, filed his DNA test during court order Tuesday, and the results came back a few hours later and showed that he was a struggle for the child. He refused to talk to the police and invoked his fifth right of change, police spokesman Tommy Thompson said.

Sutherland, wearing a T-shirt, black athletic pants and jacket, appeared in court on Wednesday. A Maricopa County Superior Court Commissioner ordered him released on a cash-only $ 500,000 bond. He also has to carry an electronic surveillance unit.

Defense Attorney David Gregan had asked for a lower band and cited the lack of a previous criminal record. He described Sutherland as a family man with young children who have lived in Arizona since 1993.

"There is no direct evidence that Mr. Sutherland has committed these acts," Gregan said. "I know at this point that there is DNA, but he wants to have his own DNA expert."

Gregan did not immediately return a message seeking comments.

Hacienda officials fired Sutherland after learning his arrest. The company said it was "worried beyond words." Sutherland had passed a comprehensive background check.

"We once again apologize and send our deepest sympathy to the client and her family, to the community and to our agencies at all levels," Hacienda said in a statement.

The 29-year-old victim has been in long-term care since 3 years and was born at the plant on 29 December. Employees said they had no idea she was pregnant. As her guardian, the woman's mother was obliged to present an annual report to the court that contained the results of a medical examination.

The case has prompted resignation or discipline in key figures at Hacienda HealthCare, including the CEO. The provider says that a doctor who had taken care of the woman stepped off and another had been suspended. Previous stories had described the patient as comatose or in vegetative state. But her parents issued a statement that contested that characterization on Tuesday.

They described her as intellectually disabled because of seizures in early childhood. While she is not talking, she has some mobility in her limbs, head and neck. She also responds to sound and can make facial movements.

Family lawyer John Micheaels said in a statement that they knew about the arrest but did not want to comment.

Thompson said he thinks the child has since been released from the hospital. The women's family have said they will take care of him.

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Associated Press authors Paul Davenport and Jacques Billeaud in Phoenix contributed to this report.


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