• Arizona woman who gave birth in vegetative state may have been impregnated before

    By: Shelby Lin Erdman, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:

    PHOENIX, Ariz. - A woman in a vegetative state who was raped and impregnated at a long-term care facility in Arizona may have been impregnated before, according to news reports.

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    Lawyers for the woman, who gave birth to a boy in December, have filed a $45 million notice of claim against the state, alleging she was raped repeatedly before giving birth, KTLA-TV reported. The action precedes a lawsuit and is seeking $25 million for the victim and $10 million each for her parents.

    The claim cited medical records that said the woman had been “violently and repeatedly raped” while living at Hacienda Healthcare in Phoenix and that a doctor who examined her after the birth said she could have been pregnant before, KTLA reported.

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    Employees at the facility have said they had no idea she was pregnant, including her doctor, until she went into labor.

    The 29-year-old victim had suffered a near-drowning when she was 3 years old and had been at the facility for at least a decade, according to KPHO-TV.

    Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey confirmed his office had received a 55-page notice of claim that is now under review. The state health department wouldn’t comment, according to KTLA, citing ongoing litigation.

    A former male nurse at Hacienda Healthcare, Nathan Sunderland, 37, was charged with sexual assault after investigators were able to match his DNA with that of the baby.

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    The victim’s parents are caring for the infant.

    Former licensed nurse Nathan Sutherland is seen in a booking photo released by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office on Jan. 23, 2019. Photo: Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office
    Former licensed nurse Nathan Sutherland is seen in a booking photo released by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office on Jan. 23, 2019. Photo: Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office

     

     

     

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