A nurse at a healthcare facility in Phoenix where an incapacitated patient gave birth in December has been arrested, police announced Wednesday.
Nathan Sutherland, 36, was apprehended on suspicion of sexual offense and elderly abuse. The suspect wore a T-shirt, black sports trousers as he appeared in court Wednesday morning, The Associated Press reported.
A Maricopa Area Superior Court commissioner ordered him on a cash-only $500,000 bond on the conditions that he will be required to put on a digital surveillance gadget, according to the AP.
Sgt. Tommy Thompson with the Phoenix Cops Department said Sutherland was a certified nurse at Hacienda Health care as well as “was responsible for supplying care” to the female patient around the moment she conceived.
“This is a facility that you should be safe in, and someone wasn’t,” Mayor Thelda Williams said at a news conference.
The female’s family stated in a comment through their lawyer that they knew Sutherland’s apprehension but did not “desire to comment on any additional details on this issue.”
Thompson claimed Sutherland had been employed at Hacienda since around 2011.
In a statement Wednesday, the treatment center said that Sutherland was fired when they discovered he had been arrested.
“Every member of the Hacienda organization is troubled beyond words to think that a licensed practical nurse could be capable of seriously harming a patient,” the facility said. “Once again, we offer an apology and send our deepest sympathies to the client and her family, to the community and our agency partners at every level.”
The arrest comes after a 29-year-old woman gave birth on Dec. Twenty-nine to a little boy at Hacienda HealthCare, a long-term treatment facility in Phoenix where she has been a patient for over ten years.
In an interview Tuesday, the victim’s family members said she is “not in a coma” yet does have “significant intellectual specials needs” originating from seizures she endured early in her childhood.
According to Police Chief Jeri Williams, officers were alerted of the incident on Dec 29 when they received a 911 call about a baby in distress. Due to the nature of the case, the police approached the investigation as a sexual assault. Investigators gathered DNA samples from almost every male employee at the facility and matched them to the baby’s DNA.
Authorities announced Tuesday that the police departments crime lab learned that Sutherlands DNA matched the baby’s and was taken into custody.
A spokesperson from the company said in an interview, “We also will continue to review and improve what is already an in-depth vetting process for caregivers at Hacienda. We will not tolerate any mistreatment of a Hacienda patient, nor will we stop until every Hacienda patient is as safe as we can make them.”
The incident caused one of the woman’s physicians to be suspended and another to resign, along with the facilities CEO, Bill Timmons, who also resigned on Jan 7.