Top Executive with Hacienda HealthCare Resigns

Alicia Farmer
January 11, 2019

Phoenix police are investigating possible sex abuse at a nursing facility after a female patient recently became pregnant and gave birth.

Hacienda HealthCare confirmed the search warrant for DNA samples Tuesday evening. "We will continue to cooperate with Phoenix police and all other investigative agencies to uncover the facts in this deeply disturbing, but unprecedented situation".

A woman in a vegetative state gave birth on December 29, 2018, in a Hacienda facility, prompting a sexual assault investigation.

Awake but immobile, and apparently unaware, her universe consisted mostly of a room at a Phoenix Hacienda HealthCare facility where she received round-the-clock care.

In a statement released to PEOPLE on Friday, Hacienda HealthCare spokesman David Leibowitz said the organisation, which runs the facility, was cooperating with authorities, but declined to divulge the exact nature of the underlying incident.

Staff at the private health facility were not aware that she was pregnant and were initially surprised when she began moaning during the beginning of her labour, according to Reuters.

Last week the state's department of economic security sent investigators to the facility for health and safety checks.

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey said he'd been briefed on the situation and called the "reports deeply troubling".

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In a statement, board member Gary Orman said the facility "will accept nothing less than a full accounting of this absolutely horrifying situation".

Founded as Hacienda de Los Angeles in 1967, Hacienda HealthCare describes itself on its website as "the leading provider of specialized medical care and social services for Arizona's infants, children and young adults who are medically fragile or chronically ill, including those with developmental disabilities".

The caregiver said the woman was completely unable to communicate and was only visited by family members every few months.

Majority involve fire drill and evacuation preparation or Medicaid eligibility. For example, an investigation in 2013 found that a staff member had made "inappropriate, sexual statements" about four clients. That employee was later fired.

"The family obviously is outraged, traumatized and in shock by the abuse and neglect of their daughter at Hacienda HealthCare", the family's attorney, John Micheaels said.

When asked about the warrant, a police spokesman said only that the investigation was ongoing.

"There's a lot of information we do not have, but things like this don't happen without someone either knowing about it or should have known about it", Solomon said. Because he says without saying anything, they're creating distrust in the community, and with no suspect caught, police should want people to know what's going on, and to come forward if they know something.

"From what I know the baby is alive, and the baby is healthy", she said. The caregiver was also incensed at the facility's staff, who she says should have noticed her gaining weight or missing periods.

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