Woman in Vegetative State Gives Birth in Long-Term Care Facility

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Hacienda HealthCare said it welcomed the DNA testing of employees.

It has been learned that a woman in a vegetative state at a Phoenix-area nursing facility was sexually assaulted after giving birth to a baby boy on Saturday.

The incident also prompted Hacienda HealthCare CEO Bill Timmons to resign yesterday, after the incident put a spotlight on the safety of long-term care settings for patients who are severely disabled or incapacitated.

"This woman has been here for 10 years and then all of a sudden this baby is born", she said.

"I want to assure our patients, their loved ones, our community partners, the agencies we do business with, Governor Ducey and the residents of Arizona, we will continue to cooperate with Phoenix Police and the investigating agencies at all levels in every way possible", Gary Orman, the executive vice president of the Hacienda board, said in a statement to Arizona's Family.

Hacienda HealthCare was founded five decades ago.

Karina Cesena, the mother of the victim, is now sleeping by her 22-year-old daughter's bedside until the attacker is arrested, reported KTVK.

She said no one reported that incident exclusively out of fear, and she believes there's been other abuse throughout the years.

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Given that the woman was in a vegetative state from a near-drowning incident and thus incapable of communicating consent or that she was pregnant, the pregnancy was clearly the result of sexual assault. No one knew she was pregnant and healthcare staff were initially unsure why she was moaning, the reports said.

CBS Phoenix affiliate KPHO-TV was first to report on the birth.

A Phoenix police spokesman said that "the matter is now under investigation" but declined to give any further details of the case.

The state's Department of Economic Security dispatched a team to conduct health and safety checks at the facility, and the Department of Health Services has beefed up safety measures: more staff, increased monitoring and stronger security.

"I wasn't there. I clearly don't have firsthand knowledge of what happened", Meyers said.

A Hacienda spokesperson said the facility was assisting with law enforcement and regulatory agencies on the "unprecedented matter" as well as reviewing its own "processes, protocols, and people".

On its website, Hacienda HealthCare says it provides care for "medically fragile and chronically ill infants, children, teens, and young adults as well as those with intellectual and developmental disabilities". For example, an investigation in 2013 found that a staff member had made "inappropriate, sexual statements" about four clients.

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