Police said Wednesday that a male nurse at a health care facility in Phoenix where an incapacitated woman gave birth in December has been arrested. Nathan Sutherland, 36, is being held at the Maricopa County Jail on sexual assault and vulnerable adult abuse charges.
Sgt. Tommy Thompson with the Phoenix Police Department said Sutherland was a licensed practical nurse at Hacienda HealthCare and “was responsible for providing care” to the woman around the time she became pregnant. Sutherland had been employed at Hacienda since about 2011.
The arrest comes after a 29-year-old woman gave birth on Dec. 29 to a boy at Hacienda HealthCare, a long-term care center in Phoenix where she has been a patient for about 10 years. Police officers were made aware of the pregnancy on Dec. 29 when they received a 911 call about a baby in distress. The incident was investigated as a sexual assault given the woman’s condition. During the investigation DNA samples from numerous male employees at the facility were requested and matched to DNA from the baby, and the police department’s crime lab learned that Sutherland’s DNA matched the baby’s and he was taken into custody.
The woman’s caregivers were reportedly unaware she was pregnant until she went into labor. The baby is reportedly doing well.