Health, americas

US: Health care facility where woman was raped to close

'For some patients at the facility, this is the only home they know or remember,' says spokesman for Arizona governor

  | 08.02.2019
US: Health care facility where woman was raped to close

By Umar Farooq

WASHINGTON

The facility where a severely disabled woman in a vegetative state was sexually assaulted and then gave birth, will close, according to the company.

Hacienda Healthcare "has come to understand that it is simply not sustainable to continue to operate our Intermediate Care Facility for the Intellectually Disabled," it said in a statement, according to reports late Thursday.

The health care company noted it was in the process of determining where to send its current patients, and pledged the transition would be smooth. There are currently 37 patients at the facility, according to reports.

After news broke of the birth, Hacienda Healthcare came under heavy scrutiny and faced a subsequent police investigation.

Nurse Nathan Sutherland was charged with one count of sexual assault and one count of vulnerable adult abuse. Sutherland was the nurse responsible for providing care to the woman in the vegetative state, according to police.

CEO of Hacienda, Bill Timmons, resigned amid the investigation taking place.

State officials criticized the "concerning" decision to close the facility.

"For some patients at the facility, this is the only home they know or remember," Patrick Ptak, spokesman for Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, said in a statement to the AZ Central newspaper. "Forcing this medically fragile community to move should be a last resort. Everyone's first priority should be protecting their health and safety."

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