Father of baby born to woman in vegetative state arrested

  • Updated
  • 24/01/2019

A 36-year-old US nurse has been arrested for sexually assaulting a woman who gave birth while in a persistent vegetative state.

Nathan Sutherland was responsible for caring for the 29-year-old woman, who has been in an incapacitated state for more than 14 years. She gave birth to the baby in December at the Hacienda Skilled Nursing Facility in Phoenix, where she is cared for.

DNA taken from the baby proved Sutherland was the father.  He has been charged with one count of sexual assault and another of vulnerable adult abuse, Fox News reported.

Nathan Sutherland.
Nathan Sutherland. Photo credit: Reuters

"We have worked virtually nonstop every day, every night to resolve this case," said Phoenix police chief Jeri Williams.

"We owed this arrest to the victim, we owed this arrest of the newest member of our community, that innocent baby."

The baby is "doing well", she said.

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