Live

Watch CBSN Live

Main doctor named of incapacitated woman who was raped, gave birth: Report

Probe into Hacienda HealthCare rape case

UPDATE:  Police announced Wednesday, Jan. 23, that a former nurse at Hacienda HealthCare, Nathan Sutherland, has been charged with sexual assault. Read the latest story here


Sources close to the case confirm to CBS Phoenix affiliate KPHO-TV that Dr. Thanh Nguyen was the primary care doctor for the incapacitated woman who was sexually assaulted and gave birth at a Hacienda HealthCare facility in Phoenix. He was suspended Jan. 15 by the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, a letter obtained by the station shows.

The letter says he placed patients' health and welfare "in danger." It was dated 10 days after KPHO-TV broke the story about the woman but doesn't  mention the Hacienda case.

Nguyen's attorney said Tuesday night that his client has no comment.

A second physician who cared for her has resigned, KPHO-TV says.

The 29-year-old woman gave birth to a boy Dec. 29 at the facility, authorities said.

She became a patient there as a toddler after a near-drowning.

"Once again, we offer an apology and send our deepest sympathy to the client and her family," Hacienda HealthCare said in a statement. "Hacienda intends to do everything possible to restore its credibility in the eyes of our patients, families, the community and our agency partners at every level."

KPHO-TV notes the staff members at the facility were unaware the woman was pregnant and frantically called 911 when she went into labor.

The sexual assault sparked a police investigation — including collecting samples of DNA from male employees who worked there. Hacienda's CEO resigned soon after KPHO-TV's initial report on the case. An internal investigation has also been launched, led by a former attorney with Maricopa County.

Police serve warrant to get DNA from all male employees at Hacienda HealthCare

The station notes Hacienda HealthCare is not licensed by Arizona. According to Will Humble, the former Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, the facility is "specifically exempt by statute."

State Sen. Heather Carter is one of the state representatives pushing emergency legislation to remove the statute from 1996-1997 that exempts Hacienda HealthCare from needing a state license, KPHO-TV reports.

Arizona has ordered the facility to find a third-party manager and the CEO has agreed, the station writes.

Police ask public for help in investigating how woman gave birth in vegetative state

Meanwhile, a lawyer for the woman's family said she isn't in a coma as previously reported. The Arizona Republic reported Friday that attorney John Micheaels said the woman has "significant intellectual disabilities" and does not speak but has some ability to move, responds to sounds and is able to make facial gestures.

Phoenix police have disclosed little information other than they are investigating the incident as a sexual assault. A Jan. 8 statement by San Carlos Apache Tribe officials said the woman, a tribal member, gave birth while in a coma.

The woman, who has not been publicly identified, had been described to CBS affiliate KPHO-TV as being in a vegetative state at the facility where she spent many years. "The important thing here is that contrary to what's been reported, she is a person, albeit with significant intellectual disabilities. She has feelings and is capable of responding to people she is familiar with, especially family," Micheaels told the newspaper.

911 call reveals moment woman in vegetative state gave birth
View CBS News In