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Former nurse pleads guilty in Arizona rape case

Posted at 4:01 PM, Sep 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-02 19:01:53-04

PHOENIX — A former nurse charged with sexually assaulting an incapacitated woman who later gave birth at a long-term care facility in Phoenix has pleaded guilty to multiple charges.

Police were originally notified of the incident in December 2018 by staff at Hacienda Healthcare, who called for help when a patient gave birth to a baby who needed immediate medical attention.

A nurse who cared for the victim during her delivery said in a 911 call that she was unaware that the patient was pregnant.

According to court paperwork, the suspect, Nathan Sutherland, "worked around the victim and treated her on numerous occasions and thus had direct access to her for an extended period of time."

Sutherland was arrested in January 2019 after male staff members at the facility were DNA tested, and he was matched to the victim's baby.

According to family members, the victim suffers “significant intellectual disabilities” after childhood seizures and has limited communication capabilities.

After being hospitalized, the baby was reportedly in good condition, but further details have not been made public.

Sutherland has pleaded guilty to sexual assault and vulnerable adult abuse and will be sentenced in November.

The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office says Sutherland is facing 5.25 to 10 years in prison.