36-year-old Nathan Sutherland, a licensed practical nurse at the Hacienda HealthCare facility, was arrested and charged with “preliminary charges of sexual assault and vulnerable-adult abuse” after he impregnated a female patient in his care, who was in a vegetative state, CNN reports.
According to reports, Sutherland’s DNA “matched the baby” when crime lab technicians tested it Tuesday, Phoenix police Sgt. Tommy Thompson said.
“From what I’ve been told she was moaning. And they didn’t know what was wrong with her,” an employee said.
“The baby, I am told, is doing quite well,” Thompson said Wednesday.
The 29-year-old woman has been in a vegetative state for 14 years after a near-death accident, but went into labor on Dec. 29. According to her family, initial reports that the victim was in a vegetative state is inaccurate. She apparently has “severe intellectual problems but has the ability to move.” The victim was labeled “an incapacitated adult” in a report prior to the victim giving birth, CBS News reports.
“The important thing here is that contrary to what’s been reported, she is a person, albeit with significant intellectual disabilities. She has feelings and is capable of responding to people she is familiar with, especially family,” attorney John Micheaels told The Arizona Republic.
Her medical records state she has “flaccid quadriplegia.” The victim has the ability to move her head, neck and limbs at times.
It is now required for all male nurses at the Hacienda HealthCare facility to be accompanied by female employee before tending to a patient.
The baby boy is being taken care of by the patient’s family, BBC reports.