Facility where comatose patient had baby facing new abuse allegations

/ CBS News

Probe into Hacienda HealthCare rape case

Another investigation is underway at an Arizona long-term care facility after a female patient claimed two staffers abused her. Hacienda HealthCare is already facing an investigation after another patient in a vegetative state gave birth in December.

CBS affiliate KPHO-TV reports a female patient with a serious intellectual disability said two female Hacienda staffers yelled at her and struck her in the head, in a survey conducted by federal and state auditors. When Hacienda was made aware, they began an internal investigation. Police, state regulatory agencies and the patient's legal guardian were also notified.

Hacienda said the staffers involved denied the allegations and have been put on administrative leave.

The facility first faced scrutiny after a patient gave birth on Dec. 29. A frantic 911 call from a nurse there said they "had no idea she was pregnant." According to police, when officers arrived, they found "a woman in her 20s, who was incapacitated, who had delivered a baby. The baby was in distress."

911 call reveals moment woman in vegetative state gave birth

The mother, whose identity has not been revealed, has been in a vegetative state for at least a decade after a near-drowning incident. KPHO reports the baby is healthy.

After the delivery, Phoenix police started investigating, collecting DNA from male employees at the facility.

"She was not in a position to give consent to any of this," police spokesman Tommy Thompson said. "So if anyone can understand that, this was a helpless victim who was sexually assaulted."

Hacienda HealthCare serves infants, children and young adults who are "medically fragile" or have developmental disabilities.

After the patient's delivery was revealed, the Arizona Department of Health Services said new safety measures have been implemented, including increased staff presence during any patient interaction, more monitoring of patient care areas and additional security measures involving visitors. The facility's CEO also resigned.

First published on January 18, 2019

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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