Nathan Sutherland a male nurse who was responsible for the care of a 29-year-old patient at the Hacienda Healthcare clinic, has been arrested under the suspicion of raping his patient according to CNN.
Speaking in a media conference Sgt. Tommy Thompson from the Phoenix Police Department, stated that the patient who has been in a vegetative state for 14-years after nearly drowning, abruptly gave birth to a baby boy helplessly at the clinic.
The incapacitated woman is said to have had been impregnated by Sutherland, a licensed practical nurse whose DNA matched the new-born and has since been arrested on charges of sexual assault. According to Thompson officers responded to a call that an infant was in “distress” and had “troubles breathing” which came after the alleged victim gave birth naturally.
“She was not in a position to give consent,” Thompson stated addressing the media during the conference further describing her as a “helpless victim who was sexually assaulted.”
During another separate interview this time speaking to People, Phoenix police Chief Jeri Williams, said that the arrest was made shortly after the woman had given birth and an investigation into sexual assault was launched. The investigation further proved that the women’s condition disabled her to give consent thereof it would be regarded as sexual assault which consequently led to Sutherland’s arrest.
How is it then possible for a woman in a vegetative state to give birth? According to Health, vegetative is defined as a “profound or deep state of unconsciousness” therefore although the person doesn’t have thinking abilities there are some other bodily functions which are active.
Christine Greves, MD, an ob-gyn at Winnie Palmer Hospital For Women & Babies in Orlando, Florida – further continued to state that there was potential of pregnancy in a woman even in a vegetative state.
“…a woman's ovaries "can still respond to the fluctuations in hormones that trigger ovulation.”
Greves further added that if a woman can ovulate then she can menstruate and potentially fall pregnant. During the conference Chief Williams expressed the importance of this case.
“The investigation was, and still is, the highest priority of our police department," said Williams.
Check out the full media conference below.