Credit: Office of Governor Doug Ducey(PHOENIX) — The governor of Arizona weighed in on the case in which a nurse at a Phoenix health care facility was arrested after a patient who is in a vegetative state gave birth to a child.
Governor Doug Ducey posted a thread of tweets slamming Hacienda HealthCare, the company that employed licensed practical nurse Nathan Sutherland and which runs the facility where the woman was being cared for.
Sutherland was arrested Tuesday after investigators obtained a DNA sample that matched the DNA of the child that was born at the facility.
"I am sickened by what’s been disclosed about the rape and subsequent childbirth by a disabled woman at Hacienda HealthCare. And, I’m appalled by the latest disclosure about the senior leadership’s behavior and the lack of action by its board of directors," Ducey wrote in the first in a series of six tweets.
He called for the company's senior leadership "to be completely replaced."
"My confidence level in that institution and its leadership is zero, and our job now is to ensure that the individuals in their facilities are safe," he wrote in another tweet.
He suggested that the state may take action but did not specify.
"Now, we are looking into what can be done to hold this facility and board accountable for violating the public’s trust and failing in their responsibility so badly. Our agencies are reviewing the best course of action, but I can assure you Arizona will not tolerate this," he wrote in the concluding tweet.
Hacienda HealthCare did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment.
Sutherland, 36, was booked into the Maricopa County Jail without bond on Tuesday after being charged with one count of vulnerable adult abuse and one count of sexual assault.
Sutherland had worked at Hacienda HealthCare since 2011, police said.
The patient at the center of this scandal "has significant intellectual disabilities as a result of seizures very early in her childhood," according to a statement from her family's attorney, John Micheaels.
"She does not speak but has some ability to move her limbs, head and neck," he said in a statement this week. "Their daughter responds to sound and is able to make facial gestures. The important thing is that she is a beloved daughter, albeit with significant intellectual disabilities. She has feelings, likes to be read to, enjoys soft music, and is capable of responding to people she is familiar with, especially family."
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