Nathan Sutherland, a nurse who was accused of raping an incapacitated patient in the long-term healthcare facility where he works, pleaded not guilty during his trial for the said crime.
The 36-year-old nurse was arrested after an incapacitated patient of Hacienda Healthcare Facility in Arizona surprisingly gave birth in December 2018, even if she was in deep comatose.
The victim who was 29 years old by the time has been admitted to the healthcare facility where Sutherland worked for the past six years.
After the patient has shockingly given birth while in a coma, all male workers in the healthcare facility were taken a sample of DNA for testing. Sutherland was arrested after his DNA matched the DNA sample from the newborn.
Dave Gregan, the lawyer of Sutherland, said that his client is “entitled to the due process of law.” He further noted that the nurse will fight all the charges hurled against him and will commission an independent DNA test.
No one was aware of the pregnancy until all of a sudden, the patient unexpectedly gave birth to a healthy baby boy. Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams said that there could be more victims of rape in the facility but could not confirm since the victims are more likely unable to communicate due to their medical condition.
Although the Police characterized the condition of the victim as comatose, her family suggests that she responds to sound and has little ability to move.
“The important thing is that she is a beloved daughter, albeit with significant intellectual disabilities,” the family said in a letter last month.
During the trial, Sutherland did not speak about anything except when confirmed his name and date of birth. He is scheduled for another trial on March 19.
Meanwhile, the baby was born healthy and now in the custody of the victims family in Arizona who are members of the Native-American Apache Tribe.
The baby was also warmly welcomed by the community. “We can’t always choose how we come into this life, but we as a community can choose to love this child,” Police Sgt Tommy Thompson, investigator of the case told reporters. /apr