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An Arizona nurse accused of raping a mentally disabled quadriplegic woman who gave birth after 26 years in a coma has been indicted on charges of sexual assault and abuse of a vulnerable adult.
The document filed Tuesday mirrors charges that prosecutors filed last week against 36-year-old Nathan Dorceus Sutherland, who looked after the 29-year-old victim and other patients during the night shift at Hacienda Healthcare in Phoenix.
Sutherland, whose DNA evidence linked him to the newborn, is expected to enter a plea to the charges at an arraignment hearing next Tuesday.
Nathan Sutherland, accused of raping a mentally disabled quadriplegic woman who gave birth after 26 years in a coma, has been indicted on charges of sexual assault and abuse of a vulnerable adult
He was arrested last week and first charged with one count of sexual assault and one count of vulnerable adult abuse, according to court records.
Sutherland voluntarily surrendered his nursing license, according to Arizona state records, hours before the Arizona State Board of Nursing was set to vote on suspending it at a special meeting on Friday afternoon.
The news came just as it was revealed that Hacienda Healthcare's former CEO Bill Timmons, who resigned in the wake of the shocking birth last month, has his own history of sexual harassment allegations.
Chairman of the Board Tom Pomeroy released a statement Friday saying Timmons faced 'serious consequences' for his actions, but was ultimately allowed to keep his position as CEO.
The news came after it was revealed that Hacienda Healthcare's former CEO Bill Timmons has his own history of sexual harassment allegations dating back to 2006. Timmons resigned in the wake of the shocking birth last month
Hacienda Healthcare's Chairman of the Board Tom Pomeroy released a statement Friday saying Timmons faced 'serious consequences' for his actions, but was ultimately allowed to keep his position as CEO because he agreed to go to counseling
The Phoenix Police Department has appealed for information from the families of other patients amid fears others who were in Sutherland's care may have been victimized by him.
Last week, those relatives told of their shock after learning that Sutherland - a Christian rapper who was once in a band - was the suspect.
'He was very loving, very compassionate. Or he pretended to be. And I really trusted him,' Angela Gomez, the mother of another patient in the facility, told local outlet3TV.
'I suspected others, but I was wrong, and he fooled everybody. Never in my wildest dreams would I think that he would be the suspect. I was in shock. Complete shock because I trusted this man.
Sutherland was arrested last week and charged with one count of sexual assault and one count of vulnerable adult abuse after DNA evidence linked him to the baby whose mother has been in a coma since 1993. His defense attorney David Gregan (right) has said there was 'no direct evidence' that Sutherland committed the rape, but did acknowledge the DNA
'I have even told him: "I'm glad you're working with my son tonight, it gives me a good feeling when I go home".'
Since Sutherland's arrest, Hacienda sent a letter to the relatives of other patients telling them they were entitled to free STD checks or pregnancy tests.
Gomez said her 27-year-old son underwent an STD check and she is waiting for the results.
She fears that he may be the 'monster' that her son referred to sometimes when she visited.
Police started investigating after the severely disabled woman, who they say was not in a position to give consent, unexpectedly gave birth on December 29.
Relatives of patients who were cared for by Sutherland at Hacienda Healthcare have expressed shock at Sutherland's arrest. Angela Gomez (above), whose 27-year-old son is looked after in the home, said she suspected other nurses but not Sutherland
The shock birth prompted authorities to test the DNA of all the men who worked at the care facility.
Sutherland, a devout Christian and father-of-four, was forced to submit his DNA sample under court order on Tuesday and the results showed he was a match to the baby.
He declined to speak with police and invoked his Fifth Amendment rights. He did not enter a plea when he faced court on Wednesday last week.
Defense attorney David Gregan described his client as a family man with young children who has lived in Arizona since 1993.
'There's no direct evidence that Mr Sutherland has committed these acts,' Gregan said. 'I know at this point there's DNA. But he will have a right to his own DNA expert.'
Sutherland is a 36-year-old devout Christian who tours local churches in Phoenix with his sister (right) under the band name 'SLEEPLESSSOLJAZ'
Sutherland divorced from his wife last Bridgett last year (left). The pair lived with their four-children in their Phoenix home, a neighbor revealed. Bridgett owns a catering company which Sutherland has worked for (seen right)
According to court documents, the motion of divorce was ordered on December 28, 24 hours before the birth of the victim's child (pictured: Sutherland sings at Bridgett's birthday in October, 2016)
The defense attorney had asked for a lower bond on the grounds that Sutherland didn't have a criminal record.
A Maricopa County Superior Court commissioner set a $500,000 cash-only bond. If Sutherland posts bond, he would need to wear an electronic monitoring device.
Police said Sutherland had been a licensed practical nurse since 2011 and was directly responsible for caring for the victim at the facility.
Investigators believe Sutherland raped the patient sometime between February and April. He had worked at Hacienda for eight years.
Officials at the facility said Sutherland went through an 'extensive background check' before he was hired. They said he was terminated 'the moment our leadership team learned of his arrest'.
'Every member of the Hacienda organization is troubled beyond words to think that a licensed practical nurse could be capable of seriously harming a patient,' a statement from the facility said.
'Once again, we offer an apology and send our deepest sympathies to the client and her family, to the community and to our agency partners at every level.'
Sutherland (left) is a Haitian orphan who was adopted to the United States when he was a child
Sutherland and his wife Bridget divorced last year. The motion was ordered on December 28 - just 24 hours before the victim gave birth.
State records show he was first became a clinical nursing assistant in 2005, before becoming an licensed practitioner nurse.
The 36-year-old is a Haitian orphan and devout Christian who regularly tours local churches to perform Christian rap songs in the group 'SLEEPLESSOULJAZ' alongside his sister.
'My parent's split up in Haiti and I remember my mom couldn't take care of us, so she took us to an orphanage', Sutherland said in 2011.
'Even though it was an orphanage you were blessed if you had one cup or bowl of rice or something a day.'
A former neighbor of the nurse has described him as a 'quiet family man'.
Esella Burr said that Sutherland was her neighbor for more than five years until he sold his Phoenix-area home in October.
Burr says he shared the home with his wife and four children, and she saw the couple leave for church every Sunday.
She says Sutherland would sometimes wave or start a conversation with her and had mentioned that he enjoyed his job as a nurse.
Sutherland (right) has worked at Hacienda since 2011. He has been a nurse since 2005, according to state documents
The 29-year-old victim has been in long-term care since she was three years old.
She gave birth at the facility as staff frantically called 911 for assistance, telling the operator that they had not known the 112-pound patient was pregnant.
The baby has since been released from the hospital and the victim's family have said they will take care of the boy.
'We owed this arrest to the victim. We owed this arrest to the newest member of our community - that innocent baby,' Phoenix police Sergeant Tommy Thomson said.
'The baby I am told is doing good. We can't always choose how we come into this life, but we can choose as a community how we will love this child - and that's what we need to do.'
According to the victim's family, their daughter's condition includes severe brain damage, seizure disorder, and psycho-motor retardation. Initially she was described as being in a coma.
'She does not speak but has some ability to move her limbs, head and neck,' the family's attorney said in a statement.
'The important thing here is that contrary to what's been reported, she is a person, albeit with significant intellectual disabilities.
'She has feelings, likes to be read to, enjoys soft music and is capable of responding to people she is familiar with, especially family.
The provider says one doctor who had cared for the woman resigned and another had been suspended.
Dr. Thanh Nguyen has been revealed as the victim's primary care doctor in a suspension letter obtained by CBS News.
Issued on January 15 - 10 days after the story first broke - the letter, addressed to Nguyen, states he placed 'one or more' of his patients' heath and welfare 'in danger'.
Nguyen has been suspended without pay until a full internal investigation is carried out by the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS).
On Monday, the hospital confirmed that two doctors responsible for overseeing the victim's care would no longer be practicing at the facility. Dr. Nguyen (left) was suspended on January 15. Dr. Gear (right) has resigned, a statement said
The second physician is believed to be Dr Phillip Gear, a veteran pediatrician in Phoenix, who has previously been reprimanded by the Arizona Medical board after the death of an infant under his care.
Practicing for more than 30 years, court records show Dr Gear last checked the victim in April 2018 and noted no major changes in her health or condition.
Both of the woman's caregivers claimed to be unaware she was pregnant, but the time of Dr Gear's last interaction with the victim would suggest she had been a few weeks pregnant at the time of the examination.
This isn't the first time Dr Gear has been involved in an instance of negligence in relation to his care of a patient.
In 2001, Dr Gear was reproached by the Arizona Medical Board for failing to perform a rectal exam on a toddler under his care, who later died.
The board concluded Gear's actions constituted negligence resulting in the child's death.