Arizona Nurse Arrested for Sexual Assault

Arizona Nurse Arrested for Sexual Assault

Maddi Tobey

Thirty-six-year-old Nathan Sutherland was in charge of caring for a long term patient of the Hacienda Healthcare clinic. The patient, who is twenty-nine years old, required maximum care since she was a toddler. Court documents state that she is “not alert”. Her condition makes it so she legally cannot consent, so when the patient unexpectedly went into labor, an investigation was opened.

The patient gave birth to a boy on December 29, 2018. This shocked her caretakers, who were unaware of her pregnancy. The patient’s last check-up was 37 weeks before she gave birth, and there were no signs of changes in her health. Sutherland gave a DNA sample under court order after the birth of the child, where it was matched to the newborn. He has been charged with abusing a vulnerable adult and sexual assault.

Nathan Sutherland has worked at the Hacienda Healthcare clinic since 2011, as a licensed practical nurse. His only patient at the time of the assault was the victim. He was released on a cash-only bond of $500,000 after appearing in court. According to Sutherland’s lawyer, there is no direct evidence that Sutherland committed the assault and that he may be getting an opinion from another DNA expert.

When Hacienda Healthcare clinic made a statement, they said they were “troubled beyond words” by the news of the birth. They also stated that they had given Sutherland an extensive background check before hiring him, and that he was immediately fired after the arrest. In addition, the doctor who was in charge of the woman’s care resigned, and another one was fired.

Lakewood High School Senior, Emily Perry, was horrified to hear of the incident. She said, “I can’t believe that her nurse sexually assaulted her. It was his job to care for her and he took advantage of that power.”