Nurse Accused of Raping, Impregnating Incapacitated Woman in Phoenix Pleads Not Guilty

Nathan Sutherland is seen in a booking photo released by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office on Jan. 23, 2019.

A nurse accused of raping an incapacitated woman who later gave birth at a long-term care facility in Phoenix has pleaded not guilty to a sexual assault charge.

The only words spoken by Nathan Sutherland during Tuesday’s minutes-long hearing were in identifying himself to the court and stating his date of birth.

He pleaded not guilty to charges of sexual assault and abuse of a vulnerable adult.

Authorities say Sutherland raped the 29-year-old victim at Hacienda HealthCare.

Hacienda workers said they didn’t know the woman was pregnant.

Investigators say Sutherland’s DNA matched a sample from the woman’s newborn, though Sutherland’s attorney says there’s no direct evidence linking Sutherland to the crime.

11:50 p.m.

A nurse charged with sexually assaulting an incapacitated woman who later gave birth at a long-term care facility in Phoenix is scheduled to enter a plea Tuesday at an arraignment hearing.

Authorities say Nathan Sutherland raped the 29-year-old victim at Hacienda HealthCare.

Hacienda workers said they didn’t know the woman was pregnant.

Investigators say Sutherland’s DNA matched a sample from the woman’s newborn, though Sutherland’s attorney says there’s no direct evidence linking Sutherland to the rape.

Sutherland is charged with sexual assault and abuse of a vulnerable adult.

He has since given up his nursing license.

The Dec. 29 birth triggered reviews by state agencies, highlighted safety concerns for patients who are severely disabled or incapacitated and prompted the resignations of Hacienda’s chief executive and one of the victim’s doctors.

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