Phoenix police: No evidence that Hacienda victim was pregnant before
PHOENIX — The Phoenix Police Department said Thursday that it has not found evidence that the incapacitated woman who gave birth in December after being raped at a Phoenix long-term care facility may have been pregnant before.
A notice of claim, which is a precursor to a lawsuit, that was served upon the state of Arizona by the victim’s family’s legal representation Wednesday said a county medical examination revealed that the woman had scars that suggested she had been “frequently and violently raped” at Hacienda HealthCare and might have given birth at least once before the recent delivery.
Phoenix Police Sgt. Tommy Thompson said in an email to KTAR News 92.3 FM on Thursday that police have not been able to identify any other instances of the woman being raped or other pregnancies.
“Based upon the statements by the doctor at the hospital following the delivery of the baby, detectives were aware of the possibility of a previous pregnancy,” Thompson said.
“The evidence obtained from the victim was examined by forensic doctors. Their secondary review did not support that there was a previous pregnancy.”
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.
The notice of claim made other allegations, including that Hacienda staff ignored the victim’s mother’s request to only have female staff attend to her daughter.
It also claimed that Hacienda staff missed more than 83 indicators that the woman was pregnant and instead treated her for constipation and weight gain using laxatives.
Phoenix police opened a sexual assault investigation after baby was born Dec. 29 because the woman was not in position to give consent.
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.
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.