Ducey signs care facility safety law related to Hacienda rape case

May 15, 2019, 4:12 AM
(AP Photo/Matt York)...
(AP Photo/Matt York)
(AP Photo/Matt York)

PHOENIX – Legislation designed to increase protection for vulnerable people in group homes was signed into law Tuesday by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey.

House Bill 2117 regulates how facilities caring for people with developmental disabilities can use electronic devices, including video cameras, to monitor common areas.

Safety at such facilities became a hot topic after an incapacitated woman at a Hacienda HealthCare center in Phoenix gave birth in late December after being raped.

Nathan Sutherland, a former nurse at the facility who had been one of the woman’s caregivers, was arrested in January and charged with sexual assault and abuse of a vulnerable adult after authorities said his DNA matched that of the baby. He pleaded not guilty in February.

Under the new law, which passed both houses without opposition, service providers of group homes and intermediate care facilities with monitoring devices must establish policies on their use and submit them to Department of Economic Security.

The policies must include public disclosure about the devices and rules about how video is maintained and retained, who may access the video, how confidentiality and privacy will be protected and how often the video will be monitored or reviewed.

Rep. Nancy Barto, who sponsored the bill, told KTAR News 92.3 FM that the Hacienda HealthCare case showed why this kind of legislation was necessary.

“I was working on this issue last year, in fact, before everything broke in terms of the news about Hacienda and the horrible things that were going on there,” she said after the bill was signed.

Barto said she’d learned that cameras were at times being installed at the request of families, but there was no legal guidance on how to do so.

“Since there were no real rules, there was no real accountability for how it’s done,” she said.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Griselda Zetino contributed to this report.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

FILE - Kari Lake, Arizona Republican candidate for governor, speaks to supporters at the Republican...
Associated Press

Lake seeks election records in suit against Arizona county

Kari Lake, the defeated Republican candidate for Arizona governor, has filed a public records lawsuit demanding Maricopa County hand over a variety of documents related to the election.
1 day ago
Carey Johnson and her son Fabian Swain are photographed wearing face masks in their Germantown, Md....
Associated Press

After a year, omicron still driving COVID surges and worries

A year after omicron began its assault on humanity, the ever-morphing coronavirus mutant drove COVID-19 case counts higher in many places just as Americans gathered for Thanksgiving.
1 day ago
(City of Mesa Photo)...

Merry Main Street with ice rink, other holiday activities returns to downtown Mesa

Mesa's annual Merry Main Street begins Friday and will offer multiple holiday activities for the whole family to enjoy each day through early January.
1 day ago
Joaquin Santiago Orozco (Mesa Police Department Photo)...

Mesa police involved in shooting with man who allegedly rammed them with vehicle

Mesa police were involved in a shooting with a man late Thursday night who allegedly rammed them with a vehicle after failing to stop for a civil traffic offense, authorities said.
1 day ago
Brian Hanrahan (Courtesy Photo)...

Silver Alert canceled after missing 78-year-old man found safe

A Silver Alert was canceled Friday after a missing 78-year-old man last seen in Phoenix was found safe, authorities said.
1 day ago
(Facebook Photo/City of Mesa, Arizona Government, Pexels Photo)...

Weekend guide: Here are the biggest events around metro Phoenix for Nov. 25-27

The holiday season is officially underway and there are plenty of events around the Valley this weekend to get into the festive mood.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
Ducey signs care facility safety law related to Hacienda rape case