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Ex-prosecutor's Hacienda Healthcare rape investigation to focus on facility's practices

Former Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley says his investigation will focus on procedures and management practices to ensure future Hacienda Healthcare patients don't suffer harm.

PHOENIX— The owner of a long term care facility in Arizona where a patient in a vegetative state was impregnated in a sexual assault has hired metro Phoenix's former longtime top prosecutor to review circumstances that led up to the rape.

EARLIER: Hacienda Healthcare hires former Maricopa County attorney for internal review

Former Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley says Monday that the review he will conduct for Hacienda Healthcare will focus on procedures and management practices to ensure future patients don't suffer harm.

"I need to get my arms around what's going on inside of Hacienda. I mean that's pretty basic," Romley said speaking to the media on Monday.

His review will occur as police examine who is responsible for the sexual assault by collecting DNA from male employees. But unlike the police investigation, there's no guarantee you'll ever know what he finds out.

Romley says he'll look into Hacienda's policies and security to find out how this happened.

Family members of current patients at Hacienda have criticized the security there, saying there wasn't even a sign in sheet.

The 29-year-old victim has been in a vegetative state since age 3 after a near drowning. She gave birth on Dec. 29. 

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No one from Hacienda Healthcare was at Monday's news conference, only Romley.  He says he believes the Hacienda management is acting in good faith.

"When you begin to do these internal reviews you find out things that maybe you did not know and I was not going to be one who basically buried it," he said.

But Romley is now working for Hacienda Healthcare as they're paying him to do this investigation. There's no guarantee that whatever he finds out -- will ever see the light of day.

"I will be presenting it to the board of directors and it will be my recommendation that as much information as can come out will come out," Romley said.

The former Maricopa County attorney says there's no timeline for the investigation.

Romley is known for leading a team of prosecutors who pressed cases against Catholic priests in a sex abuse scandal about 15 years ago.

Jacques Billeaud with the Associated Press contributed to this report.