A male nurse at a health care center in Phoenix, AZ has been charged with sexual assault after an incapacitated woman gave birth back in December.
According to NBC News, police said Nathan Sutherland, 36, is currently being held at the Maricopa County Jail on sexual assault and vulnerable adult abuse charges. He was reportedly a licensed practical nurse at Hacienda HealthCare and “was responsible for providing care” for the woman around the time she became pregnant.
Sgt. Tommy Thompson with the Phoenix Police Department said that Nathan became employed by the healthcare center back in 2011, but believes he no longer works there.
The arrest comes after the 29-year-old woman gave birth to a baby boy at the health care center, where she had been a patient for about 10 years. Officers were made aware of the woman’s pregnancy on December 29th when they received a call about a baby in distress. Due to the woman’s condition, police started to investigate the situation as a sexual assault.
Sgt. Thompson said during the investigation, DNA samples from multiple male employees at the facility were collected. On Tuesday, the police department’s crime lab learned that the DNA sample collected from Nathan matched the baby’s DNA and he was taken into custody.
The woman’s caregivers were unaware of her pregnancy up until she went into labor. That eventually led to one of her physicians being suspended and another resigning.
The woman’s family said in a statement that she is “not in a coma” and she does have “significant intellectual disabilities,” which come from seizures she suffered from during her childhood.
The family also said through their lawyer, “She does not speak but has some ability to move her limbs, head, and neck. Their daughter responds to sound and is able to make facial gestures. The important thing is that she is a beloved daughter, albeit with significant intellectual disabilities.”