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Woman says she pulled daughter out of Hacienda after sex assault

(Courtesy of Karina Cesena)

PHOENIX — An Arizona woman moved her daughter from a Hacienda HealthCare facility in Phoenix after a nurse was arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting an incapacitated patient who gave birth late last year.

Karina Cesena told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Mac & Gaydos on Friday that she moved her 22-year-old daughter from the facility on Jan. 18 after learning of the alleged sexual assault.

“I immediately jumped in my car. … I rushed down there and I stayed at my daughter’s bedside, 24 hours (a day), seven days a week. I did not leave,” she said.

“I was so terrified at the fact that something like this could happen at a place that used to have some really good ratings and it declined in care,” Cesena added.

“And who knows how long this has been going on, or if anyone else has been violated and they can’t speak for themselves. It’s very, very disturbing.”

Cesena said she had had problems with Hacienda HealthCare long before the alleged assault occurred.

“I’ve been looking for a place for over six months for her to move to because I was having problems with dietary and mismanagement, nurses and such,” she said.

“Then when this unfortunate news came out about this poor girl, I just tried to push the issue and get (my daughter) to another place.”

A 29-year-old incapacitated woman who has limited mobility and can’t speak gave birth at the facility on Dec. 29, prompting police to launch a sexual assault investigation.

Nathan Sutherland, a Hacienda nurse who cared for the patient during the time of the alleged sexual assault, was arrested on Jan. 23, after investigators said they matched his DNA to the baby’s.

He has since pleaded not guilty to the charges of sexual assault and abuse of a vulnerable adult.

The unit where the woman was housed was kept open after two Arizona agencies stepped in to prevent Hacienda from closing it.

Cesena said she had “pretty brief” interactions with Sutherland, but he never raised any red flags when she would run into him on his night shift.

“I always saw him doing paperwork behind the front desk. I never saw him wander the halls or it’s not like we made phone calls to each other. It was just a ‘hi, bye’ kind of relationship,” she said.

But Cesena said she would “be the first one to jump right in on a lawsuit if there’s a civil case or anything like that.

“This has been going on for far too long,” she said.

Mac & Gaydos

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