Nurse arrested for rape of woman in coma

Pearl Mccarthy
January 27, 2019

Through a combination of "good old fashion police work" and DNA testing, police were able to identify 36-year-old Nathan Sutherland, a nurse at the facility, as the man who impregnated the victim.

A male nurse has been arrested on suspicion of rape after a woman who has been in coma for 14 years gave birth last month in Phoenix, Arizona. Sutherland was booked on one count each of sexual assault and vulnerable adult abuse.

Hacienda CEO Bill Timmons resigned from his position after the woman gave birth.

Sutherland's former co-worker Eleanora Riggers, who worked for Hacienda for 11 years, told ABC15 in Phoenix that she was shocked. Sutherland is the father of that baby, authorities say. An online database shows Sutherland has since voluntarily surrendered his nursing license.

In response to the governor's tweets, Hacienda HealthCare stated they have agreed to the State of Arizona's "request to have a third-party management team in place to oversee patient care and daily operations".

Police officials said that Sutherland, 36, was a licensed nurse who had worked at the facility since 2011.

Phoenix Mayor Thelda Williams and Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams held a press conference with the announcement on Wednesday morning.

Police spokesman Sergeant Tommy Thompson said: "We have no indication that there were other people involved, but again, this is an ongoing investigation".

Even though Riggers still believes Sutherland has the right to go through the judicial process before he is tried in public court, she said she is confident that the DNA match is telling the truth.

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FILE - This Friday, Jan. 4, 2019, file photo, shows Hacienda HealthCare in Phoenix.

The victim, a member of the San Carlos Apache tribe, is not in a vegetative state, despite numerous reports to the contrary.

Employees said they had no idea she was pregnant.

She is unable to speak but has some movement in her limbs, neck, head and face. Sutherland said his mother could not look after her children as a result of the split. He has yet to enter a plea. He and his sister formed Sleeplessouljaz, a Christian rap group. "My mom couldn't take care of us, so she brought us to an orphanage", Sutherland said in a 2011 video interview from Dog Entertainment Ministries.

"Nate and T know, understand, and have experienced the less than poor side of life; where you either have a shirt or some used trousers with holes in them to wear (no underwear or shoes) and if you got 1 meal a day, you were considered blessed".

"We can say that our patients' and clients' health and safety is our number one priority and that we always cooperate, when asked by any agency, in an open and transparent way".

Burr says Sutherland shared the home with his wife and four children, and she saw the couple leave for church every Sunday.

"I cried. I just cried and cried", she said.

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