A nurse has been arrested in the sexual assault of an incapacitated woman who gave birth at a Phoenix nursing facility, Arizona, police said Wednesday.
Nathan Sutherland, 36, was a licensed practical nurse at Hacienda Skilled Nursing Facility, where the woman gave birth. The suspect is a devout Christian who tours local churches in Phoenix with his sister.
The female patient had been in coma for at least 14 years after a near-drowning incident. She stunned workers when she went into labor on Dec. 29 because they didn’t know she was pregnant. .
Police obtained a DNA sample from Sutherland on Tuesday. He was not working at the time. He was responsible for caring for the victim and had access to her at the time of the incident. .
On Jan. 22, authorities determined that Sutherland’s DNA matched the baby’s and he was detained. He was booked in the Maricopa County Jail on one count of vulnerable adult abuse and one count of sexual assault. .
Nursing facility staff has said that none of them knew the woman was pregnant until she started giving birth. Sources say the woman had no way to defend herself from the incident, and no way to communicate that she was pregnant. Sutherland has worked with Hacienda Healthcare since 2011.