Rape Probe After Woman In Coma For 14 Years Gives Birth

Elias Hubbard
January 10, 2019

Thompson said the sexual assault investigation was launched that same day because the victim was in a vegetative state and was not in a position to give consent.

The investigation began on or about January 4th as reported by Phoenix Fox 10, which reported the woman had been sexually assaulted by someone who allegedly cared for her at the facility, and that the staff was not even aware the woman was pregnant until she began moaning and the woman began giving birth.

Hacienda HealthCare owns the care facility and said it welcomed the DNA testing.

The woman's mother, Katrina Cesena, told reporters she is sleeping in her daughter's hospital room until the perpetrator is found.

The woman in a vegetative state for more than a decade gave birth to a baby boy.

Detectives have asked men at the Hacienda HealthCare facility in Phoenix to give buccal swabs, Thompson said.

A spokesman for Hacienda HealthCare says investigators served a search warrant Tuesday to obtain DNA from all male staffers.

Hacienda officials have called the situation "a deeply disturbing incident" and said they are cooperating with law enforcement and state agencies.

A look at the Hacienda HealthCare facility in Phoenix. It appears no staff knew about the pregnancy until the birth, he said, adding that anyone who knew but failed to report it could face charges.

In a statement obtained Tuesday by 12 News in Phoenix, the San Carlos Apache Tribe confirmed that the woman is "an enrolled member of the Tribe" and has been in "a persistent vegetative state and coma" for years and gave birth "while still in a coma".

"I am deeply shocked and horrified at the treatment of one of our members", Tribe Chairman Terry Rambler said.

A lawyer for the patient's family said in a statement Tuesday that the baby boy will "be well cared for", but that they are shocked and outraged by the "neglect of their daughter".

Executive vice president of the board Gary Orman said Hacienda "will accept nothing less than a full accounting of this absolutely horrifying situation, an unprecedented case that has devastated everyone involved, from the victim and her family to Hacienda staff at every level of our organisation".

The woman went into labor a few days before New Year's, perplexing her caretakers.

"It is my hope that justice will be served", Rambler said.

The Hacienda facility serves infants, children and young adults who are "medically fragile" or have developmental disabilities, its website says.

The state's online complaint database for care facilities shows complaints about Hacienda de Los Angeles going back to 2013, most of which involve fire drill and evacuation preparation or Medicaid eligibility.

The incidents were not relayed to an administrator and the employee was later fired. They also say health care workers need better training on identifying and reporting sexual abuse. Doing background checks isn't enough, said Erica McFadden, executive director of the Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council.

"I can't believe that somebody would bathe her daily for nine months and never know that she wasn't having a period, that she [was] growing in her midsection, that nurses weren't keeping track" of her weight, said the caregiver, whose identity was kept private by the station.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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