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.

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

FILE - In this Monday, Nov. 18, 2019 file photo, the logo of Google is displayed on a carpet at the...
Ken Colburn, Data Doctors

In need of Gmail storage space cleanup tips? Here are a few to get you started

If you haven’t done much in the past to keep the clutter from building up in your Gmail account, there are a number of places where you can free up valuable storage space.
8 hours ago
(Gilbert Police Department photo)...

Gilbert Police Department hoping for leads in 1991 missing persons cold case

It's been more than 30 years since the disappearance of 23-ear-old Gilbert resident Lisa Jameson, and police are still hoping for tips that may lead to solving the case.
8 hours ago
(Facebook Photo)...

ASU police wellness check turns into interstate effort to help lost elderly couple

Arizona State University police officers last weekend performed a wellness check that became an interstate effort to help a couple who authorities say were confused about where they were.
8 hours ago
(Pexels Photo)...

Mesa International Film Festival kicks off on Friday

The third Mesa International Film Festival will kick off in the Valley on Friday with plenty of films scheduled for the weekend. 
8 hours ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Associated Press

Murder charge in Arizona against divorce lawyer dismissed

A murder charge filed in Arizona against a California lawyer in the 2010 shooting death of his stepdaughter’s husband has been dismissed.
1 day ago
(Pexels photo)...

2-year-old girl dies after drowning incident in Phoenix

A 2-year-old girl has died after being pulled out of a pool in Phoenix on Thanksgiving day, police said.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Why fall maintenance is important for your heating system and A/C

It’s easy to ignore your heater and air conditioner when they’re working but the moment something breaks, you will likely regret not keeping up with maintenance. After all, if something goes wrong, you may be stuck with a repair that will take longer and be more expensive than simple maintenance.
PNC Bank

3 cool tips to turn everyday moments into learning experiences for your child

Early brain development has a crucial impact on a child’s ability to learn and succeed in school and life. Research has shown that 90% of a child’s brain is developed by age five.
PNC Bank

How one organization supports early childhood literacy for the most vulnerable

Nearly two out of every three children in low-income communities don’t own a single children’s book, a fact that ultimately could have profound impacts even before entering kindergarten, according to Arizona nonprofit Southwest Human Development.
Ducey signs care facility safety law related to Hacienda rape case