Ex-Nurse Pleads Not Guilty to Sexually Assaulting Incapacitated Woman at Nursing Home
A former nurse accused of raping and impregnating an incapacitated lady underneath his care ultimate yr at a Phoenix nursing house pleaded no longer responsible on Tuesday to fees of sexual attack and kid abuse.
In a temporary arraignment listening to, the previous nurse, Nathan D. Sutherland, who seemed in an orange jumpsuit, spoke simplest to supply his title and date of beginning. The pass judgement on introduced no longer responsible plea have been entered via Mr. Sutherland, 36, who used to be hastily taken again to the Maricopa County Jail, the place he has been held since his arrest on Jan. 23.
The kind of minute-long continuing used to be the newest construction in a sexual attack case that has stunned the government in Arizona, raised questions concerning the remedy of sufferers in long-term incapacity care there and taken intense scrutiny to the nursing house’s operator, Hacienda HealthCare.
The prison case began to spread in past due December, when a girl at Hacienda who can’t communicate or stroll impulsively gave beginning to a boy. Over the next weeks, the investigation was the primary center of attention of the Phoenix Police Department, its leader mentioned, and led to questions concerning the corporate’s operations and habits.
The police mentioned DNA pattern taken from Mr. Sutherland, a Hacienda nurse assigned to deal with the girl, matched that of the child.
On Tuesday, Gov. Douglas A. Ducey of Arizona, a Republican, raised the opportunity of deploying the state lawyer common’s place of work in a wide-ranging investigation into the corporate. The governor asked an inquiry into how Hacienda workers didn’t know that the 29-year-old affected person, who has been at the nursing middle since 1992, have been raped or understand that she used to be pregnant, in accordance to a replica of the letter he despatched the lawyer common, Mark Brnovich.
To the surprise of Hacienda personnel contributors, the girl went into hard work on Dec. 29 and gave beginning. A panicked worker referred to as 911 and reported that no person knew she used to be pregnant and that the kid used to be in misery, in accordance to audio of the decision launched via the Phoenix Police Department. The child boy and the girl have been each doing smartly, the police mentioned ultimate month. The boy is within the custody of the girl’s circle of relatives.
“Although a suspect in this crime has been apprehended,” Governor Ducey mentioned within the letter, “details continue to emerge regarding the leadership of this entity and its lack of action.”
In addition to investigating the girl’s case, the governor asked a broader investigation into Hacienda’s control, with a focal point on imaginable monetary fraud and “violations of Arizona’s civil rights act” in its corporate tradition. Since 2016, the Arizona well being company that manages the state’s Medicaid program has been investigating $three.four million in imaginable Medicaid fraud at Hacienda.
The governor’s remark about Hacienda’s tradition seemed to reference sexual harassment allegations towards its longtime leader govt, Bill Timmons, that have been reported ultimate month via The Arizona Republic and later showed via the corporate. Mr. Timmons hastily resigned ultimate month, a couple of days after the police opened an investigation into the girl’s attack.
“One thing is clear though — Arizona cannot tolerate such disregard for its most vulnerable citizens or laws of our state,” Mr. Ducey wrote. “We must continue to exercise intense scrutiny and vigilance to ensure public safety, accountability and justice.”
It used to be no longer transparent what motion Mr. Brnovich’s place of work deliberate to soak up reaction to the governor’s letter. A spokeswoman for the lawyer common didn’t reply to a request for remark.
Since the attack case used to be made public, Hacienda officers have pledged to cooperate with native and state investigators, in addition to paintings to regain the general public’s agree with. The corporate not too long ago employed a former best prosecutor in Maricopa County to habits its personal investigation into the attack. An organization spokesman didn’t reply to a request for remark.
The subsequent court docket date for Mr. Sutherland, who’s being hung on $500,000 bail, used to be scheduled for subsequent month.