A nurse suspected of raping an incapacitated woman who later gave birth at a long-term care facility in Phoenix 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.
Sutherland is expected to enter a plea to the charges at an arraignment hearing next Tuesday.
His attorney, David Gregan, didn’t immediately return a call Wednesday seeking comment.
ities say the 29-year-old victim was raped by Sutherland at Hacienda HealthCare. He was fired after his arrest.
Gregan has previously said there’s no direct evidence linking Sutherland to the rape, but investigators say Sutherland’s DNA matched a sample from the newborn.
Workers at Hacienda say they didn’t know the woman was pregnant.
Meanwhile, a state panel is calling on Arizona lawmakers and agencies to make policy changes to protect vulnerable adults from sexual abuse.
The Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council on Tuesday released a list of recommendations they say would bolster the ability to recognize and prevent sexual abuse, including more training on how to report it and protections for those who do so.
“I realize that all of these can’t possibly be made in this one legislative session,” executive director Erica McFadden said. “This is going to have to be an intentional commitment of time and attention over the long haul for any substantial change to be made in the entire system.”
Last week, the mother of another patient at the facility said Sutherland helped care for her son.
“He was very loving, very compassionate. Or he pretended to be. And I really trusted him,” Angela Gomez said of the suspect, Nathan Sutherland.
She said never in her “wildest dreams” did she think Sutherland would be the suspect authorities were looking for.
“I suspected others, but I was wrong, and he fooled everybody,” Gomez said, affiliate KPHO-TV reported.