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Nurse Charged with Rape of Comatose Woman Who Gave Birth

A 36-year-old licensed practical nurse was arrested and charged with raping a comatose woman who gave birth late last month at a long-term health care center in Arizona, authorities announced Wednesday.

Nathan Sutherland, an employee at Hacienda HealthCare in Phoenix who was responsible for the 29-year-old victim’s care during the time of the assault, was charged after his DNA was found to match the baby’s, Phoenix police said. The quadriplegic victim’s caregivers and family were stunned to learn of her pregnancy.

The surprise birth, which highlighted safety concerns for severely disabled or incapacitated patients, prompted authorities to test the DNA of all the men who worked at the Hacienda HealthCare facility.

Sutherland has no prior record and has lived in Arizona since 1993, according to his attorney.

The case has resulted in the departure or discipline of several key figures at Hacienda HealthCare, including the CEO and two physicians.

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