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Nurse Arrested For Raping Coma Patient Who Gave Birth

A nurse has been arrested for sexually assaulting a woman in a 'coma' after she gave birth at a health care facility. 

The 29-year-old victim - who gave birth to a boy in December - has been in a 'vegetative state' since the age of three. 

Nathan Sutherland, the 36-year-old nurse is facing one charge of sexual assault and one count of vulnerable adult abuse after a DNA test identified him as the baby's father.

The victim's parents have revealed their daughter is completely aware of her surroundings, and has some mobility in her limbs, head and neck. While she doesn't speak, she responds to sounds and can make facial gestures. 

"She has feelings, likes to be read to, enjoys soft music and is capable of responding to people she is familiar with, especially family," the family attorney said in a statement.

"The important thing here is that contrary to what's been reported, she is a person, albeit with significant intellectual disabilities."

Sutherland has been a licensed nurse since 2011 and was responsible for caring for the victim at the Hacienda HealthCare Facility in Arizona.

The facility has reiterated that Sutherland went through an 'extensive' background check before he was hired, and following his arrest, he was immediately dismissed. 

"Every member of the Hacienda organisation is troubled beyond words to think that a licensed practical nurse could be capable of seriously harming a patient," Hacienda officials said in a statement.

"Once again, we offer an apology and send our deepest sympathies to the client and her family, to the community and to our agency partners at every level."

Hacienda HealthCare employees said they had no idea she was pregnant.

The baby boy is now in the care of the victim's mother. 

After appearing in court on Wednesday, the 36-year-old was released on a $500,000 bail bond. He has also been ordered to wear an electronic monitoring device. 

The company's boss Bill Timmins has resigned over the scandal.

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