Meet Nathan Sutherland: Nurse Who Allegedly Impregnated A Vegetative Patient

We previously discussed the horrific crime of the impregnating of a woman in a vegetative state at the Hacienda Healthcare facility in Phoenix. It was only after the woman went into labor that the staff learned of the rape. Using DNA evidence, the police have made an arrest in what could be the easiest criminal case in the history of criminal law. Licensed practical nurse Nathan Sutherland is the match and, as we discussed, he stood out as someone who would not cooperate in giving over his DNA sample. He has been charged with one count of sexual assault and one count of vulnerable adult abuse.

Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams said at a news conference that Sutherland, 36, invoked his Fifth Amendment rights after his arrest and did not cooperate with investigators. It is hard to see much work that remains if they have a DNA match with the baby. There can be no consent and the baby is conclusive evidence of the rape.

The 29-year-old victim has been incapacitated since the age of 3. Her parents say that she is not comatose but intellectually disabled with some ability to move her limbs, head, and neck. She also responds to sound and facial gestures.

Sutherland appeared in court Wednesday and held on $500,000 bail.

Sutherland was part of a Christian rap duo with his sister, Toisi under the name SLS or Sleeplessouljaz. Their first album was titled, “Certified Fake Face” and was released in 2009.

CBS News has also reported that Hacienda Healthcare had been investigated previously over alleged financial fraud, but the investigation was halted due to a lack of evidence. The facility reportedly was charging patients’ families $386,000 per year in 2012 at a time when the national average was $134,000 per year. The investigation into the facility ended in 2017 due to a lack of evidence.

27 thoughts on “Meet Nathan Sutherland: Nurse Who Allegedly Impregnated A Vegetative Patient”

  1. This crime just makes me ill. It makes me wonder how many other helpless, vulnerable women he abused. There was a clear lack of supervision at the facility. There should always be someone else present when the patient clearly cannot communicate any abuse. A female nurse is required to be present along with a male OB/GYN whenever a woman gets a pelvic exam. Actually, I don’t know if that second person is required if the OB/GYN is a female, as well. It protects both the doctor from false accusations and the patient from abuse. Why wasn’t a similar procedure used for helpless patients in care?

    I am very sorry for this poor girl and her family. There has been no mention of what is going to happen to the baby. Is her family going to take her?

      1. I said the same thing. Even though his wife divorced him, the poor woman must still feel shame for her kids if nothing else. Poor family on both sides.

    1. The baby would be better off being put up for adoption, where he can start life with a clean slate. A black child living with the mother’s American Indian family would stick out and be stigmatized from the start. What will happen when he starts asking about his father and why he looks different from everyone else? You can be sure the other kids will taunt him! Although adoption prospects for male black children are not good, he would be better off taking his chances than suffering a childhood of stigma with people who know about how he was conceived.

  2. I wonder how many of these sexual and or physical abuses go on and no one even notices. I bet too many and that is sad.

  3. He needs to get gang raped in the rear end while in jail. The gang can sing a song and call themselves: The Rear Enders.

  4. If the place got away with charging $386,000 a year, that’s because the state agency which runs Medicaid in Arizona is incompetent. My suspicion is that the place is s corrupt sty from top to bottom.

  5. So tragic for this poor girl and her family! Now what happens to the ill-conceived baby? I sure hope it looks nothing like its “father.”

    1. Well let’s see what the law says when he files for custody and visitation rights…..abuse has never stood in the way before…..

      1. I cannot understand why legislators haven’t closed that loophole whereby rapists get visitation and sometimes partial custody of the children produced by raping their victims.

  6. This should not incriminate all male staff in health care environments any more than it incriminates all males generally. Rape is ubiquitous because it has never been adequately punished. DNA testing, increased reporting, and ubiquitous camera surveillance will inevitably change the culture to where rape is finally appropriately addressed and stopped.

    1. I wish that were so. It will only stop the premeditated or opportunistic rape where the predator is of sound mind, meaning able to weigh consequences while entertaining the impulse. The neuroscience research is clear that the pre-frontal-cortex (PFC) is the part of the brain that weighs consequences and overrules the risky primitive urge. If the PFC is not able to function properly, then it doesn’t matter what kind of deterrence consequences society has established, nor their probability of being applied. The consequences simply don’t enter into decisionmaking.

      Examples of PFC deficiency are drunkenness, neuropathology in brain wiring from birth (sociopath), meth/cocaine high, extreme stress and fatigue, illness and senility.

      Since drunkenness is by far the most common PFC disabler, establishing safe drinking standards (e.g., not surpassing 0.06% BAC) would be a means of preventing sexual assaults while inebriated. Recreational drinking would then be dose-limited, and respect for criminal deterrence would be promoted. It’s time the public understood why the “deterrence” theory just fails in so many cases. And I’m not suggesting any new excuse for crime based on neuroscience. Throw the book at criminals. What I am suggesting is that neuroscience become part of better crime PREVENTION. If you bank all your chips of deterrence alone, you’ll never achieve prevention.

      1. Although I of course agree with you on the decision process disturbance in PFC, how would you enforce limiting the capacity of drinking? Would you make it illegal to buy an entire bottle of whiskey, since the customer would exceed .06 BAC if he drank the whole bottle? There are single drinks that put someone over .06. Would those be banned? Would bars be required to keep track of exactly how many drinks someone had, as well as their BAC when they walked in the door? Bartenders can spot obvious drunkenness, unless the bar is especially crowded, with loud music. You are putting the onus of limiting drinking behavior on shopkeepers and bartenders, instead of the people drinking.

        Drunk driving is already illegal. I suppose installing an ignition interlock breathalyzer on all vehicles might cut down on drunk driving until people find out how to disable them. But how would you prevent getting drunk at home or with a designated driver? Does the government have the right to make such a restriction in people’s best interests? It’s a slippery slope. Should it take such a step, they would have to ban all tobacco products, pot (which affects PFC in relatively low doses), cough syrup, sugar drinks and snacks, and on.

        How could you possible criminalize getting drunk, even when someone is not driving, when marijuana is legal, impacts the PFC, and impairs driving?

        I think that educating people on the effects of beer glasses would be beneficial, but you have’t sold me on controlling their intake.

  7. At least one report stated that the woman was regularly examined by an MD.
    If that’s true, the MD has probably been interviewed, and may become another key figure in this mess.

    1. I read that both M.D.s employed by the facility promptly resigned. I would like to see their billing records for the past six months or so…..Did they bill the government for examinations of this woman yet somehow fail to notice that she was obviously pregnant? News reports say that she is a member of an Indian tribe, so the doctors may have been defrauding the U.S. or tribal governments, or both, for medical services that were never performed. Call me suspicious, but I smell fraud…..

      1. There are so many people who missed some glaring signs. There is no way she got a routine pelvic exam during those 9 months. Did the nurses never note her records that she stopped having periods? A girl at 29 not having a period for 9 months should have been examined.

    2. The woman had to be washed. No one noticed until after the birth of the child?

      The child has no viable person to care for it and no support. I wonder what the grandparents will do. Who will take the child?

        1. I hope that is so. In such a case that is what I would do. I think the home/state owes the child so that the child can be evaluated and properly cared for. The question is how to get rid of the stigma the child will carry for the rest of his life. The father should be prevented from demanding any parental rights.

        2. Becka, I hope so. That baby is half their daughter’s blood and kin. It’s not the baby’s fault. I could never rest thinking my blood was out there in the cold arms of the foster care system. What a painful situation.

    3. I’ve seen pictures of this patient…she didn’t look obese or otherwise likely to naturally conceal a pregnancy. What’s up with that if regularly examined by an MD?

  8. “The 29-year-old victim has been incapacitated since the age of 3. Her parents say that she is not comatose but intellectually disabled with some ability to move her limbs, head, and neck. She also responds to sound and facial gestures.”
    In a just world, Sutherland, who is almost certainly guilty, would be chemically induced into a minimally conscious state, covered in food scraps and cast into a pig pen to be slowly dispatched to his hellish fate. But alas, we are civilized and have an 8th Amendment, so we’ll have to suffice with a warehoused life at public expense wondering if some feeble judge or some inattentive guard will unleash him on us yet again.

    1. Somehow I envision a pair of knockers forcibly tattooed onto his back and a cellmate named Bubba as his new husband.

    2. Oh, that is so true about hogs. That saying, “I ain’t had so much fun since the hogs ate my little brother” has a macabre foundation in truth. A roaming boar once trapped my relative at home until her husband could get home and dispatch it.

      Pigs can be sweeties when they are tame pets but holy terrors when ferocious.

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