A male nurse arrested in Arizona on suspicion of raping a quadriplegic woman who suddenly gave birth despite being in a vegetative state for 26 years, and in coma for 14 years appeared in court on yesterday.
Nathan Sutherland, 36, is facing one charge of s-xual assault and one count of vulnerable adult abuse after a DNA test identified him as the baby’s father.
The father-of-four did not enter a plea to the charges against him.
A Maricopa County Superior Court commissioner placed the recently divorced defendant on a $500,000 cash-only bail bond. He is being held in the Maricopa County Jail and his next court appearance will be January 30. If released, he would be placed on house arrest and ordered to wear an electronic monitoring device.
Wearing a T-shirt, athletic pants and a jacket, Sutherland was accompanied by defense attorney David Gregan, who said his client has no prior criminal record.
Gregan told the court there was ‘no direct evidence’ to suggest his client had committed the crime, but he acknowledged the DNA evidence obtained by police.
Sutherland – a Haitian orphan has been a licensed practical nurse since 2011 and was directly responsible for caring for the victim at the Hacienda HealthCare Facility, according to police.
He divorced from his wife, Bridget Sutherland, last year. The motion was ordered on December 28, 24 hours before the birth of the victim’s child.
The defendant refused to answer investigator’s questions after his arrest.