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Phoenix police investigating sex assault at Hacienda HealthCare

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX — Authorities are asking the public to help identify a suspect in a sexual assault case regarding an “incapacitated” woman who gave birth to a baby at Hacienda HealthCare last month.

Sgt. Tommy Thompson with the Phoenix Police Department said officers responded on Dec. 29 to a call of an infant who had been delivered at a long-term care facility in the area of 16th Street and South Mountain Avenue.

The baby was in distress when officers arrived and the woman and baby were transported to a local hospital. They are both recovering, Thompson said.

Thompson said the sexual assault investigation was launched that same day because the victim was in a vegetative state and was not in a position to give consent.

He would not confirm who the department is looking to get DNA from, but said authorities have obtained samples and were working to test them.

Thompson said the woman had been in the facility for many years.

The facility said in a statement last Friday that it had “recently become aware of a deeply disturbing incident involving the health and safety of a Hacienda resident” but did not provide more information. Hacienda HealthCare CEO Bill Timmons resigned Monday amid the investigation.

Executive Vice President Gary Orman said in the statement that the facility “will accept nothing less than a full accounting of this absolutely horrifying situation, an unprecedented case that has devastated everyone involved.”

Gov. Doug Ducey said he was “very troubled” by the allegations. U.S. Reps. Ruben Gallego and Tom O’Halleran sent a letter to Health and Human Services’ Center for Medicare & Medicaid Wednesday to get answers in the case.

The San Carlos Apache Tribe on Tuesday confirmed that the patient was a 29-year-old tribe member.

Sexually assaulting a vulnerable adult is a felony in Arizona.

Anyone with information regarding the incident is encouraged to contact the Phoenix Police Department Violent Crimes Bureau at 602-262-6141.

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