Early this month, the nation was filled with grief and outrage when news broke that a woman had given birth after 14 years in a coma.
There was no mystery of how it happened. The question was which monster took advantage of the vulnerable woman.
Now, that question has been answered, and a man -- a nurse -- has been arrested.
Nathan Sutherland has been arrested.
He is a 36-year-old man and a licensed practical nurse who reportedly worked at Hacienda, where the Victim was receiving long-term care.
Sutherland was identified because his DNA matched that of the newborn, who is now just about one month old.
He was booked on preliminary charges of sexual assault and vulnerable-adult abuse.
Sutherland has worked at the facility since 2011.
Investigators are trying to determine if he may have assaulted any other patients, and if the victim may have been assaulted more than once.
Police announced the arrest of Sutherland based upon DNA evidence and also upon obvious access to the victim.
"We owed this arrest to the victim," police stated in a televised conference.
"We owed this arrest to the newest member of our community," police repeated. "That innocent baby."
No child should have such horrible baggage thrust upon them before they take their first breath.
In addition to Sutherland's arrest, the healthcare facility announced that the doctor in charge of the victim's care had resigned.
Another doctor was suspended. The exact reasons were not stated.
On Wednesday afternoon, Sutherland made his first court appearance.
According to reports, Sutherland’s attorney asked for no more than $15,000 in bail.
The judge denied the defense's request.
Sutherland's bond was set at $500,000, cash only.
It seems clear that the court is concerned that Sutherland, now caught, might attempt to flee.
On December 29 of 2018, a woman who had spent 14 years in a vegetative state gave birth.
The baby was reported healthy, but the birth itself was a horrifying surprise.
Apparently, no one knew that the victim was pregnant, even though she was allegedly receiving 24-hour care.
Aside from the obvious physical changes that a body makes as a literal entire baby grows inside of it, there should have been other signs.
Some have questioned if there was a conspiracy among the staff to allow a sexual assault to go undetected.
Others openly suggested that this could be evidence of widespread neglect.
Sutherland was only one of the members of the staff whose DNA was taken.
Police obtained a warrant for his DNA after determining that he was among those directly responsible for the victim's care.
Upon his arrest, Sutherland invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
That is, he refused to speak directly with police.
There is always a chance that he could negotiate for a plea bargain of some kind in exchange for revealing anyone other possible predators.
But ... given the national attention and the outrage that the story has garnered, he shouldn't expect much.
Nobody wants to see a sexual predator walk free.
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