Nurse gets 10 years in prison for sexually assaulting an incapacitated woman

One problem first Arizona The nurse was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Thursday for sexually assaulting an incapacitated woman at a long-term care facility, where she later gave birth.

Nathan Sutherland received the maximum penalty according to his agreement when he pleaded guilty to sexual assault. He also received a suspended life sentence for abusing a vulnerable adult stemming from his treatment of the woman.

“It is hard to imagine an adult being more vulnerable than the victim in this case,” said Superior Court Judge Margaret LaBianca, adding that Sutherland abused her position of carer. sexually abuse the victim.

The pregnancy was discovered in December 2018 when an employee at the Hacienda healthcare facility in Phoenix was changing clothes for the then 29-year-old victim and noticed that the patient was in the process of giving birth. Workers told the police that they did not know the woman was pregnant.

Police said Sutherland’s DNA matched a sample taken from the woman’s son. The victim’s mother is the guardian of the boy.

Before the punishment was delivered, Sutherland told the judge about the problems in his life due to being adopted as a child. He also apologized to the victim and her family and said he understood the situation was also unfair to the child.

“I apologize to the victim,” Sutherland said. “You don’t deserve to be hurt no matter what’s going on in my personal life and the demons I’m fighting. I have no right to let you through that.”

The unexpected birth triggered reviews by state agencies, highlighting safety concerns for patients with severe disabilities or incapacity to work, and prompted executives Hacienda and One of the victim’s doctors resigned.

It led to a lawsuit from the victim’s parents alleging Sutherland took care of their daughter hundreds of times between 2012 and 2018, despite promises from the state – contracts with companies like Hacienda to provide Services for people with developmental disabilities – that only women. will tend to her. An expert on behalf of her family said many of Sutherland’s encounters with patients happen overnight, when there are fewer staff and visitors.

Family lawyers say Hacienda missed signs that the woman was pregnant, indicating that she had gained weight, had a bloated stomach and missed her period in the months before the baby was born. They said the victim, whose feeding tube and nutrition had been reduced as a result of her weight gain during pregnancy, gave birth to the boy severely dehydrated and without pain medication.

The victim lived in Hacienda for 26 years, until the baby was born. Her medical condition stems from a brain disorder that causes motor and cognitive impairment as well as loss of vision. She also no longer has the ability to use her limbs.

Sutherland, a licensed practical nurse, was fired by Hacienda after his arrest and has since given up his nursing license.

A judge approved a $15 million settlement against a doctor who cared for the woman for 26 years while she lived at Hacienda Healthcare. The doctor’s insurance company argued that they were not obligated to pay that amount.

The state of Arizona settled down last summer for $7.5 million.

Perry Petrilli, current chief executive officer of Hacienda Healthcare, released a statement saying the staff, who cooperated with law enforcement agencies, had kept the victim and her family in her thoughts. them and that “we are relieved that he will never torture another innocent person.” Nurse gets 10 years in prison for sexually assaulting an incapacitated woman


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