Woman Who Gave Birth In Incapacitated State May Have Been Previously Pregnant: Lawyers

Neetu Chandak | Education and Politics Reporter

A disabled Arizona woman who gave birth while incapacitated may have been pregnant previously, according to a claim filed Wednesday.

The 29-year-old woman’s lawyers filed a 55-page notice against Arizona and Hacienda Healthcare for allegedly being “violently and repeatedly raped” at the facility and for the likely previous pregnancy, The Associated Press reported.

The woman has been in long-term care at Hacienda in Phoenix since she was 3 years old after almost drowning, according to the report.

She gave birth to a baby boy in December 2018, but her caretakers were shocked because they claimed to have no idea she was pregnant. The event ignited a police investigation into possible sexual assault.

Hacienda licensed nurse Nathan Sutherland allegedly raped the woman while under his care. Investigators said his DNA matched a sample of the boy’s DNA.

Sutherland pleaded not guilty to sexual assault and vulnerable adult abuse charges, however, the AP reported.

The claim accuses officials of missing 83 opportunities to spot the woman’s pregnancy, which means she did not receive proper care, according to the news agency. The health care facility also allegedly sent in male staff members instead of her parents’ request of “female-only” staff, according to the complaint.

In regards to the alleged previous pregnancy, it is unclear whether it was brought to full term, CNN reported. (RELATED: Bullying Is Apparently Rampant At Senior Citizen Centers)

“At a minimum, there were repeated violations of [the victim] from the scarring,” John Micheaels, an attorney representing the woman and her family, said to Phoenix TV station KPNX.

The claim seeks a $45 million settlement — $25 million for the victim and $10 million for each of her parents within 60 days. Otherwise, the woman’s case will be taken to court, according to the AP.

Hacienda Healthcare and the Arizona Attorney General’s Office did not immediately respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.

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