Phoenix Nurse Arrested for Assaulting Comatose Patient

Denise Najera, Sports Recorder

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A 36-year-old male nurse was arrested at a clinic and charged with sexual assault Wednesday of last week. The man’s name is Nathan Sutherland, he has been working at Hacienda HealthCare facility since 2011. The woman he assaulted was left primarily in his care when she came in the facility incapacitated.

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At some point police said Nathan must have assaulted and impregnated her, although throughout the entire pregnancy, doctors could not tell at all that she was in fact pregnant. It wasn’t until she gave birth to a baby boy on December 29, 2018.

“From the minute we first became aware of the crime, we have virtually worked nonstop seven days a week to resolve this case,” Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams said in announcing the arrest.

Sutherland was taken to Maricopa County Jail. His attorney stated there was “minimum”evidence that his client even did the crime. He was charged with sexual assault and one count of vulnerable adult abuse. His bail is set at $500,000.

The Healthcare facility says they are truthfully sorry and shocked at this horrendous news. Releasing a statement saying  “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. 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.”

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Throughout all this, the woman’s family says their daughter is now doing fine but is still in her incapacitated condition. Being “non alert” and still needing a “maximum level of care”.

Since the incident, two doctors have been unemployed from the Hacienda Clinic. One has resigned and the other has been suspended from the clinic.

“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,”- Tommy Tomphson, Phoenix Police Sgt.




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