Hacienda HealthCare investigation: What we know, what we don't
Sgt. Tommy Thompson shares how Phoenix police learned an incapacitated woman had been sexually assaulted and delivered a baby. Arizona Republic
A 29-year-old woman described as being "not alert" and needing a "maximum level of care" gave birth Dec. 29 to a boy at the Phoenix health-care facility Hacienda de los Angeles.
Police were called, and the woman and her baby were taken to a hospital, where they were recuperating. Her family lawyer said the baby will be well cared for.
Phoenix police were conducting a sexual-assault investigation, and multiple state agencies were involved.
Here is what we know, plus some key unanswered questions:
Who is the woman?
The woman has been a patient of the care facility since she was 3 years old, court records show.
The 112-pound woman is described in court documents as "incapacitated" and "unable to make any decisions or give consent due to her disability." Police said she cannot communicate or move.
She was described in the most recent medical report filed with the court as having a brain injury, seizures, recurrent pneumonia and both feeding and breathing tubes. The report, filed in May, covered a one-year period from April 2017 to April 2018, documents show.
A medical exam performed by a court-appointed doctor April 16, 2018 — the most recent available medical records in the court file — noted nothing unusual about the woman's health.
She is a member of the San Carlos Apache Tribe, which issued a statement this week calling for justice to be served on the woman's behalf.
The 5-minute, 11-second 911 call details the minutes after a woman at Hacienda HealthCare gave birth. Staff can be heard trying to resuscitate the baby. Arizona Republic
What did the facility's staff know?
Unclear. Whether staff at Hacienda de los Angeles knew the woman was pregnant before the birth remained unknown.Phoenix police were not called to the facilityuntil the baby had been born. It is unknown whether staff members assisted with the birth, or whether any of them knew the woman had been pregnant.
Was the facility equipped with cameras?
Not known. Phoenix police spokesman Sgt. Tommy Thompson said Wednesday police do not know the status of any surveillance video from inside the facility, or even whether there were video cameras inside.
What is the status of the investigation?
Phoenix police were conducting a sexual-assault investigation that has included getting DNA from male workers at the facility, which is part of the not-for-profit Arizona company Hacienda HealthCare.
What was the scope of the sexual-assault incidents?
It remains unclear. The child's birth raises questions about whether the woman had been sexually assaulted more than once and whether others at the facility were assaulted, too.
"I know at least once, she was sexually assaulted, which is way too many times," Thompson said.
What about security at the facility?
The Arizona Department of Health Services said heightened security was in place at the facility, including increased staff presence during patient interactions, increased monitoring of patient-care areas, and increased security measures with respect to visitors.
What happened to those in charge?
Bill Timmons, Hacienda HealthCare's longtime CEO, terminated his employment from the company Jan. 7.
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Sgt. Tommy Thompson says it's important to seek justice for an incapacitated woman who gave birth after a sexual assault inside a nursing facility. The Republic | azcentral.com