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Arizona Report Urges Changes To Stop Sex Abuse Of Disabled

Tom Tingle/The Arizona Republic

 A state panel is calling on Arizona lawmakers and agencies to implement policy changes to better prevent and report sexual abuse of people with developmental disabilities.

The Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council's release on Tuesday of recommendations comes a month after an incapacitated woman gave birth at a Phoenix long-term care facility.

Authorities say the 29-year-old victim was raped by a nurse at Hacienda HealthCare.

Plans for the report were proposed in September, but they took on new urgency with the discovery of the sexual assault.

Among the report's suggestions is legislation requiring training for workers who are obligated to report abuse as well as protection from retaliation.

According to the report, fear of retaliation or being fired may have contributed to a culture of silence at Hacienda.