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Nurse accused of raping, impregnating incapacitated patient pleads NOT GUILTY

The nurse arrested last month following a rape investigation at an Arizona nursing facility has pleaded not guilty.

CBS News reports that Nathan Sutherland pleaded not guilty to charges of abuse of a vulnerable adult and sexual assault at a hearing on Tuesday. Sutherland, 36, was arrested on either January 22 or January 23 amid an investigation at Hacienda HealthCare that began when a severely incapacitated patient gave birth on December 29. Staff at the hospital reportedly said that no one knew the 29-year-old woman was pregnant until she went into labor.

The suspect was taken into custody after a DNA sample matched the newborn infant, who is reportedly in the care of the patient’s family. According to the CBS News report, his lawyer said there is no direct evidence liking Sutherland to the rape.

The hearing reportedly lasted only a few minutes, and Sutherland spoke only to identify himself.

It is not clear when the next hearing is scheduled.