Phoenix – A woman from Arizona in a vegetative state who had a baby After her sexual assault in a long-term care facility, she returns to a hospital with her child, authorities said Wednesday. Police said they have stepped up the search for a suspect in a case that made headlines in national news.
Commenting for the first time on the investigation since the birth of December 29, police in Phoenix said she had not excluded anyone and was still collecting DNA from all male employees at the facility.
"She was not able to give her consent to that," said police spokeswoman Tommy Thompson. "So, if anyone can understand that, it was a helpless victim who was sexually assaulted."
He did not reveal the living conditions of the woman and her child, who will be cared for by her mother's family.
The subsidiary of CBS KPHO-TV in Phoenix first reported that the woman who had been in a vegetative state for more than 10 years after the drowning had given birth on December 29th.
Police were called that day on the report of a newborn baby in distress, Thompson said. Apparently, no staff member was aware of the pregnancy before birth, he said, adding that anyone who knew it without reporting it could be prosecuted.
A woman's family lawyer said that they were outraged by "their daughter's negligence" and asked for confidentiality.
"The family would like me to convey the fact that the little boy was born into a loving family and that he will be well taken care of," said Phoenix lawyer, John Micheaels, in a statement.
The Hacienda Web site is for infants, children and young adults who are "medically fragile" or who have intellectual disabilities. According to the online database of complaints about care facilities, the state has many complaints dating back to 2013, mainly for reasons of emergency preparedness or eligibility to Medicaid.
A complaint in December 2013 alleges that one staff member made inappropriate sexual comments about four patients two months earlier. Nobody has forwarded the incidents to an administrator. This employee was then fired.
After the birth, the Arizona Department of Health Services said that new security measures had been put in place, including an increased staff presence during any patient interaction, increased monitoring of care areas and additional security measures involving visitors.
Advocates of the disabled say that Arizona must find a way to control the allegations of sexual abuse and sexual violence in groups. They also say that health workers need better training to identify and report sexual abuse.
Jon Meyers, executive director of The Arc of Arizona, an advocacy group for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities, described the situation as "disturbing, to say the least."
"I can not believe that a woman receiving this level of constant care has not been recognized as pregnant before delivery," Meyers said.
KPHO-TV notes that threats have been made against the installation. Thompson said officers outside working hours had reinforced security "to protect those present."
CEO of Hacienda Bill Timmons resigned earlier this week. The decision was unanimously accepted by the supplier's board of directors.
Police ask anyone with information about the incident to call 602-262-6141.
The director of the school resigns after the delivery of a woman in vegetative state