Phoenix authorities have charged Nathan Sutherland, 36, a licensed practical nurse, with sexual assault and abuse in a case where a resident gave birth in December.
The story drew national headlines after the 29-year-old victim at Hacienda HealthCare — in a vegetative state for decades — unexpectedly gave birth to a healthy baby boy in December.
Police subsequently obtained a warrant, forcing employees to give DNA samples. A few hours after Sutherland submitted his for testing Tuesday, he was in handcuffs, the Washington Post reported Wednesday.
Contradicting some conflicting reports from earlier this month, the Post noted that the victim has been in a persistent vegetative state since 1992, when she was 3 years old. The family’s lawyer noted last week that the woman is not in a coma and is able to recognize and respond to family members in a limited way. Her condition is the result of seizures that she experienced early in her childhood.
The case has led to the resignation of both the facility’s longtime CEO earlier this month and a doctor who oversaw the woman’s care, and compelled state legislators to begin pushing for a granny cam law in Arizona. Police are still investigating to determine whether Sutherland assaulted anyone else since joining the facility in 2011.