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KNAU and Arizona News

Nurse Charged With Sexually Assaulting Incapacitated Woman Who Gave Birth

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Ross D. Franklin/AP Photo/File
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A licensed practical nurse was arrested and charged today with sexually assaulting an incapacitated woman who gave birth last month at a Phoenix long-term healthcare facility. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports. 

Phoenix Police announced Nathan Sutherland was booked into the Maricopa County Jail on charges of sexual assault and vulnerable adult abuse. He was one of the 29-year-old victim’s primary caregivers at Hacienda HealthCare. She’s been incapacitated since the age of 3.

"From the minute we first became aware of this crime, a sexual assault, we have worked virtually nonstop every day, every night, seven days a week, trying to solve and resolve this case. The investigation was and still is the highest priority for our department," said Police Chief Jeri Williams at a press conference Wednesday morning.

Sutherland was charged after police obtained a court order to take DNA samples from all male employees. His was then matched with the baby boy’s DNA at a crime lab. Sutherland invoked his 5th Amendment right and didn’t participate in an interview after his arrest.

Hacienda HealthCare last weekend announced a doctor who’d cared for the victim resigned and another was suspended. Police say they don’t have any indication that other perpetrators were involved in this case, but continue to investigate.

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