Hacienda HealthCare closing unit where woman was raped and gave birth

By Peter Martinez

/ CBS News

Former Hacienda nurse speaks out on training

Hacienda HealthCare, the nursing facility in Phoenix where an incapacitated woman was raped and gave birth, is shuttering the intermediate care unit of its building, CBS affiliate KPHO-TV reports. This comes days after a nurse there pleaded not guilty to a sexual assault charge.

It was at the Intermediate Care Facility for the Intellectually Disabled (ICF-ID) where the 29-year-old victim was being treated, KPHO-TV reports. There are 36 patients who will be relocated to other facilities.

"After careful consideration, the Board of Directors have come to understand that it is simply not sustainable for us to continue to operate our ICF-ID. Thus, we will begin to transition clients and eventually cease operation," the facility said in a letter to its employees Thursday. "For however long this difficult transition takes, our obligations to our staff, patients, and their families will be heightened even beyond what we have experienced of late."

A view of the Hacienda HealthCare facility in Phoenix. KPHO-TV

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has called on the state's attorney general's office to investigate and present charges against Hacienda HealthCare.

The police chief said there could be more victims, but finding them may be difficult because many at the facility are unable to communicate. After the patient gave birth, Hacienda's CEO resigned, along with a doctor. Another doctor was suspended.

Meanwhile, the baby boy is now in the care of the woman's relatives, who are members of the Apache tribe.

Staff members at Hacienda were under court order to provide DNA samples as part of the investigation into the birth. Investigators said nurse Nathan Sutherland's DNA matched the woman's newborn, though Sutherland's attorney, David Gregan, said there's no direct evidence linking Sutherland to the crime.

On Tuesday, he pleaded not guilty to charges of sexual assault and abuse of a vulnerable adult. The victim has been severely incapacitated since she was 3 years old, and other workers at Hacienda were shocked when she unexpectedly gave birth in December.

Nurse charged with sexual assault of incapacitated patient who gave birth

First published on February 7, 2019

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Feb 7  Original Article