New body camera footage documents the heartbreaking moments after a woman in a long-term vegetative state gave birth at an Arizona nursing home after being raped by a nurse.
The staff at Hacienda Healthcare in Phoenix seemed completely baffled and many were in tears after the delivery, as the entire pregnancy had been a complete surprise.
The footage also shows police in the room with the victim – although it is heavily pixelated and neither she nor her newborn are visible.
The birth took place in December 2018 and sparked global outrage – but the bodycam footage has only just been shared by police following a Freedom of Information request.
“And when I looked, it was an *inaudible*. The baby is coming,” a distressed nurse can be heard telling a police officer as she tearfully recounts the moment of birth and how she saw a baby’s head pop out while she was changing the baby’s adult diaper. the victim.
“When she opened the diaper, there was a head. And this poor assistant didn’t work for a month. She was so distraught, so traumatized by the whole thing,” a former employee said. AZ family.
Phoenix police body camera footage was released, including a moment where officers enter the victim’s bedroom, which was pixelated to protect her privacy.
Bodycam footage has been released nearly five years after a nurse raped and impregnated a 29-year-old woman who was in a vegetative state at an Arizona healthcare facility.
The ensuing birth came as a complete surprise to staff at the facility, with the plain of distress to be seen – all captured in footage now released by Phoenix police.
Many staff members were beside themselves with emotion following the sudden birth
The video reveals the chaos and emotion of the facility’s staff in the minutes following the little boy’s arrival in December 2018.
It also shows the police carrying out their first investigations as they try to establish who had access to the victim’s room.
The woman, who was 29 at the time of the rape, has been severely disabled for most of her life – since the age of three – and has been in a coma for most of her life, meaning she never was unable to consent to sexual relations. .
She had lived at the Hacienda for 26 years, until the child was born. His health problems stem from a brain disorder that led to motor and cognitive impairments and vision loss. She was also left without functional use of her limbs.
She gave birth at the facility as staff frantically called 911 for help, telling the operator they didn’t know the 112-pound patient was pregnant.
“All of his medical records, primary care doctors, nurses, visitor logs from about nine months ago? » » asks a Phoenix police officer on scene to a staff member.
“Care reserved for women,” replies a nurse.
“Okay, so no man would ever enter her room it seems?” »continues the officer.
“No,” the staff member replies.
Another staff member revealed that it was only while changing the victim’s diaper that she saw a baby coming.
Many staff members could be seen in the corridor in tears following the shock delivery.
Other staff members at the facility were questioned about who had access to the victim’s room.
The patient’s family also did not understand who could have raped the woman, but a former employee explained that even if the caregivers were all women, the victim would have been cared for by nursing staff, which included men. .
“When they talk about caregivers, they’re talking about people who bathe you, dress you and feed you. But nursing is something different. It’s on another level. The nurse distributes medicines and stuff like that,” explains the former worker.
As part of the police investigation into the sexual assault, mandatory DNA testing was carried out on male staff at the establishment, revealing that Nathan Sutherland, a devout Christian and father of four, was the rapist.
Investigators arrested him and he was later convicted of rape and sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Sutherland alleged he was sexually abused at an orphanage and neglected by his mother, which he said led him to “act inappropriately” and “commit an evil act.”
This revelation came as a huge shock to staff, describing him as the unlikeliest suspect. He had worked at the Hacienda for eight years. The staff loved him so much that they expressed relief that he was working following the horrific discovery.
At his sentencing, he expressed “sincere” remorse for his actions.
“To the victim, I am truly sorry. You don’t deserve to be hurt. It didn’t matter what was going on in my personal life and the demons I was battling. I had no right to put you through this. No words can express how deeply sorry I am. I am really sorry.
The victim was a patient at Hacienda Healthcare in Phoenix for 26 years. His health problems stem from a brain disorder that led to motor and cognitive impairments and vision loss.
Former registered nurse Nathan Sutherland, 36, pleaded guilty to sexual assault and abuse of a vulnerable adult for impregnating the woman in a vegetative state in 2018.
Sutherland was so well-liked that one of the victim’s parents recounted their comfort in knowing he was on duty the night of the birth.
“One of the parents after the birth, Nate, worked. This was before it was revealed who he was. One of the parents approached him one evening and said, “I’m so glad you’re working tonight.” I know my child is always safe when you are here,” the parent recalled.
Following the release of these distressing images this week, Hacienda Healthcare released a statement:
“Seeing video from that night, almost 5 years ago, is still heartbreaking. Our thoughts are once again with the victim and her family – and we remain disgusted by the behavior of the nurse who harmed a patient.
Sutherland’s abuse came to light in December 2018 after a nurse noticed the victim was in labor and subsequently gave birth to a baby boy. Doctors failed to detect any signs that she was pregnant, including that she had gained weight, had a swollen belly and had missed her period in the months before the birth of the child. (Pictured: in court in 2019)
Sutherland is seen in court following his 2019 arrest
Sutherland received the harshest sentence possible after accepting a plea deal.
“Nearly 5 years later, virtually everything about Hacienda HealthCare is different. We have new board members, new leadership, new staff, new security infrastructure, new procedures and new resident care protocols.
“We have implemented all the changes required by state and federal agencies – as well as our own improvements – and have passed numerous inspections since then. Nothing can change that terrible day, but we have worked diligently every day since to ensure that no one in our care ever comes to harm again.
The little boy born in 2018 will be five years old in December. He is cared for by relatives of his mother.
Her mother remains “in good health” and now lives in another care facility in Phoenix.