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Former Hacienda Healthcare nurse pleads guilty to sexual abuse after incapacitated patient gives birth

Court documents show investigators believe the woman was assaulted and impregnated sometime between February 2018 and April 2018.

PHOENIX — Editor's note: The above video originally aired in 2019. 

A former nurse at a Phoenix facility pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of sexual assault and vulnerable adult abuse after an incapacitated patient in his care gave birth in 2018, according to a spokesperson from the Superior Court of Arizona. 

The Phoenix Police Department said Nathan Sutherland was a licensed practical nurse who worked at Hacienda Healthcare starting in 2012.

According to police, he was responsible for providing care for the woman during the time she was sexually assaulted. 

Court documents show investigators believe the woman was assaulted and impregnated sometime between February 2018 and April 2018.

A police DNA sample ultimately linked Sutherland to the crime.

Hacienda Healthcare released a statement in 2019 saying Sutherland was "terminated from Hacienda the moment our leadership team learned of his arrest."

In a statement Thursday, the facility said: 

“After more than 2-1/2 years, all of us at Hacienda Healthcare are relieved that Nathan Sutherland has finally pleaded guilty to his awful offenses. We have cooperated in every way possible with law enforcement and investigators —and now we hope the judge will sentence Sutherland appropriately given the severity of his crimes. As ever, our hearts are with the victim and her family. May these final steps in the legal process help them find peace.” 

The sentencing range for the plea agreement is 5.25 – 10 years for count one, sexual assault, and lifetime probation for count two. 

Sentencing is set for Nov. 4 before Judge Margaret LaBianca.

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