A male nurse has been charged with raping a woman who gave birth at a US healthcare facility while in a long-term vegetative state.
Phoenix police confirmed they had taken a 36-year-old man into custody following an ongoing investigation into the “heinous crime”.
At a press conference on Wednesday, Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams identified the offender as Nathan Sutherland, and said he was a “licensed practical nurse who was responsible for providing care to the victim during the time the sexual assault occurred.”
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Sutherland has since been charged with one count of sexual assault and one count of vulnerable adult abuse.
“We owed this arrest to the victim. We owed this arrest to the newest member of our community — that innocent baby,” Police chief Williams said.
JUST IN: Mugshot of 36-year-old Nathan Sutherland who is accused of raping and impregnating a woman in a vegetative state at #HaciendaHealthcare …. Police say his DNA matched the baby. @FOX10Phoenix #Fox10phoenix pic.twitter.com/joqPvZItiR
— Jennifer Martinez (@Jennifer_Fox10) January 23, 2019
The 29-year-old victim, who has been in a coma since a near-drowning 14-years ago, gave birth on December 29 at the Hacienda HealthCare facility in Phoenix Arizona.
A surprised nurse responded to the sounds of moaning and entered the woman’s room to find the baby crowning.
Employees of the facility said they had no idea the woman was even pregnant, sparking a huge police investigation as to how she conceived.
It’s understood Sutherland was arrested after officers were able to match the DNA of the healthy baby boy to that of Sutherland.