ARIZONA NEWS

Hacienda victim may have been pregnant before, legal claim says

May 22, 2019, 6:17 PM | Updated: May 23, 2019, 8:57 am

PHOENIX — The incapacitated woman who gave birth in December after being raped at a Phoenix long-term care facility may have been pregnant before, according to a legal claim.

A medical examination found that the woman, who had been at Hacienda HealthCare since she was 3 years old, had scars that suggested she had been “frequently and violently raped” and had given birth at least once before the recent delivery, according to a notice of claim served upon the state of Arizona by the family’s legal representation Wednesday.

The notice of claim, which is a precursor to a lawsuit, said the facility promised to honor the mother’s request that only female staff would care for her daughter, but it was found that multiple male caretakers had unsupervised access to the victim’s room.

According to the claim, the victim is a nonverbal quadriplegic, but she has the ability to perceive her surroundings and cry and make noises when uncomfortable.

The claim presents evidence that Hacienda staff missed at least 83 opportunities to diagnose the victim’s pregnancy, including that she had missed menstrual periods and that staff had noted weight gain and a hard mass in her abdomen leading up to the birth.

The claim states that staff instead treated her for constipation and weight gain using laxatives, and that she was severely dehydrated and malnourished when she gave birth.

Former Hacienda employee Nathan Sutherland, a licensed practical nurse who was responsible for caring for the victim since 2012, was arrested in January after his DNA matched that of the baby’s.

Sutherland was charged with sexual assault and abuse of a vulnerable adult and has pleaded not guilty.

The victim’s family is seeking $45 million from the state due to the physical and emotional damages experienced by the victim and her parents.

Legal expert Monica Lindstrom told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Mac & Gaydos on Wednesday that the family’s case is strong.

“Hacienda obviously didn’t either train its employees correctly or just ignored (the pregnancy),” Lindstrom said.

“And then you have the state that should have had some kind of oversight here, and probably the board of directors at Hacienda as well, because it all comes down to the policies and procedures that were not implemented.”

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

Andrew Enriquez, 22, was arrested Thursday after allegedly shooting and killing 31-year-old Michael...

KTAR.com

Suspect accused of fatally shooting man in Glendale after drug deal dispute

A suspect was arrested several days after allegedly fatally shooting a man in Glendale following a drug deal dispute, authorities said Monday.

2 hours ago

Dr. Elda Luna-Nájera to replace Leezah Sun's legislative seat...

Serena O'Sullivan

Elda Luna-Nájera will fill Leezah Sun’s vacant seat in Arizona House of Representatives

Elda Luna-Nájera will replace Leezah Sun as the representative of Arizona's Legislative District 22, which is in the West Valley.

5 hours ago

Mega Millions button lit up on a lottery ticket machine...

Kevin Stone

Mega Millions lottery tickets purchased in Scottsdale, Tucson win $50,000 each

Two Arizona Lottery players each won $50,000 in Friday’s Mega Millions drawing, officials announced Monday.

6 hours ago

Car crashes into power pole in Phoenix, 2 critically injured...

Serena O'Sullivan

1 dead, 1 in critical condition after car crashes into power pole in Phoenix

One man is dead and another is in critical condition after a car crash involving a power pole in Phoenix on Monday, officials said.

7 hours ago

An image from Google Street View shows the third-party post office between a Jimmy John's and a Dun...

KTAR.com

Southeast Valley shopping center temporarily evacuated after bomb threat

Multiple businesses at a southeast Valley shopping center were temporarily evacuated Monday because of a bomb threat, authorities said.

9 hours ago

A DUI suspect drove down a 200-foot embankment in Cottonwood before a second DUI suspect was arrest...

KTAR.com

Arizona DUI suspect’s car careens down 200-foot embankment before 2nd DUI suspect arrested

A DUI suspect drove down a 200-foot embankment in Arizona on Saturday morning before another DUI suspect attempted to evade police at the crash area, authorities said.

9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

...

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

Hacienda victim may have been pregnant before, legal claim says