Authorities in Arizona are investigating an alarming incident at a private Phoenix facility in which a woman in a vegetative state shocked staff by going into labor and giving birth.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, the patient at Hacienda HealthCare had been in a vegetative state for over a decade after surviving a near-drowning incident. On December 29, an attending nurse reportedly noticed that the woman was moaning and realized she was in labor. The woman later gave birth to a baby girl, reportedly alive and healthy — and the staff had no idea before that point that the woman was pregnant.
The New York Times reports that police are investigating allegations that the woman, who has no ability to communicate, was raped and impregnated. No suspects have yet been identified, and the nursing facility has reportedly introduced new protocol that requires male staffers to be accompanied by female staffer when attending to female patients.
According to the report, Hacienda HealthCare was previously cited for privacy violations after patients complained that employees would walk in on them when they were showering. And in 2013, a male staffer was fired following complaints that he made sexually suggestive remarks to patients. In one case, co-workers allegedly overheard the staffer tell a patient that they were going to have a “happy morning” because the staffer had an erection.
The nursing facility reportedly houses 74 patients, and Arizona Department of Health Services has sent inspectors to check on the safety of the patients there.
CrimeOnline will continue to provide updates when more information is available.