Nurse Suspected Of Impregnating Incapacitated Woman Is Arrested An Arizona nurse has been arrested for the sexual assault of an incapacitated woman in a long-term care facility. The assault resulted in a pregnancy and the birth of that child late last year.
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Nurse Suspected Of Impregnating Incapacitated Woman Is Arrested

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Nurse Suspected Of Impregnating Incapacitated Woman Is Arrested

Nurse Suspected Of Impregnating Incapacitated Woman Is Arrested

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

A disturbing story out of Arizona to update you on now related to sexual assault. Phoenix police say they have arrested a nurse at a long-term care facility who allegedly raped a 29-year-old female patient who had been incapacitated for more than two decades. The woman was impregnated as a result of the assault and delivered a baby in December. Kathy Ritchie of member station KJZZ reports.

KATHY RITCHIE, BYLINE: The story stunned disability advocates and the community at large. A young woman with limited mobility and communication abilities delivered a baby in December, but her caregivers did not know she was pregnant. That included her doctors, both of whom are no longer providing medical services.

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JERI WILLIAMS: And at this time, I am announcing the arrest of the suspect we believe who is responsible. He is 36-year-old Nathan Sutherland.

RITCHIE: That's Phoenix police chief Jeri Williams.

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WILLIAMS: Sutherland is a licensed practical nurse who was responsible for providing care to the victim during this time the sexual assault occurred.

RITCHIE: Through the course of their investigation, Phoenix police obtained DNA from several individuals who worked at Hacienda Healthcare, including Sutherland. Here's Phoenix Police Sergeant Tommy Thompson.

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TOMMY THOMPSON: That evidence was sent to the Phoenix Police Department crime lab, and those individuals worked tirelessly to compare those DNA samples with DNA obtained from the baby.

RITCHIE: One of those samples belonged to Sutherland. He was booked Wednesday and charged with one count of sexual assault and one count of vulnerable adult abuse. Thompson says the investigation is ongoing. It's unclear if there are other victims or how many times the victim was sexually assaulted. In a statement, Hacienda Healthcare says the alleged perpetrator held a current state of Arizona practical nurse's license and had undergone an extensive background check when he was hired. Hacienda says he was fired after learning of his arrest. Although police have not offered an update on the mother's status, they say the baby's doing well. The family of the birth mother says through their lawyer that they will care for the baby boy.

For NPR News, I'm Kathy Ritchie in Phoenix.

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