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Man arrested in Hacienda sex assault case voluntarily surrenders nursing license

Posted at 8:58 AM, Jan 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-26 10:58:46-05

Nathan Sutherland, the man arrested for the sexual assault and impregnation of an incapacitated woman, has voluntarily surrendered his nursing license, according to an online licensing database.

His surrender comes hours before a special meeting was scheduled Friday afternoon by the Arizona State Board of Nursing to vote on suspending his license.

RELATED: Governor Ducey calls for "complete replacement" of senior leadership at Hacienda Healthcare

Nathan Sutherland was a licensed practical nurse at Hacienda Healthcare and was in charge of the wing where the 29-year-old victim was being treated.

Sutherland has been arrested and charged with one count of sexual assault and one count of vulnerable adult abuse, according to court records.

The surprise birth late last month triggered reviews by state agencies, highlighted safety concerns for patients who are severely disabled or incapacitated and led to disciplinary actions and resignations of staffers and managers. It also prompted authorities to test the DNA of all the men who worked at the Hacienda Healthcare facility.

FULL COVERAGE: Hacienda Healthcare investigation

Sutherland, 36, submitted his DNA sample under court order Tuesday and the results came back a few hours later, showing he was a match to the baby. He declined to speak with police and invoked his Fifth Amendment rights, police spokesman Tommy Thompson said.

Sutherland appeared in court Wednesday but did not enter a plea. A Maricopa County Superior Court commissioner set a $500,000 cash-only bond. If Sutherland posts bond, he would need to wear an electronic monitoring device.

Defense attorney David Gregan had asked for a lower bond on the grounds that Sutherland didn't have a criminal record. He described his client as a family man with young children who has lived in Arizona since 1993.

"There's no direct evidence that Mr. Sutherland has committed these acts," Gregan said. "I know at this point there's DNA. But he will have a right to his own DNA expert."

On Friday, the Arizona State Board of Nursing announced they are investigating if other nurses at the facility need to be held accountable.

President Randy Quinn said that the board will take immediate action if evidence points to other nurses failing to act.