Phoenix police: Finding incapacitated patient's rapist 'highest priority'
Sgt. Tommy Thompson shares how Phoenix police learned an incapacitated woman had been sexually assaulted and delivered a baby. Arizona Republic
PHOENIX – Police are asking for the public's help in finding the perpetrator who sexually assaulted and impregnated an incapacitated patient in an Arizona health facility.
The 29-year-old woman gave birth at Hacienda de los Angeles in Phoenix on Dec. 29. Police were called to the facility at 3:42 p.m. that day for a report of an infant in distress.
It's unclear whether the facility's staff knew the woman was pregnant before she gave birth. Police said Wednesday that the woman was unable to give consent, and has been in long-term care for an extended period of time.
"This woman was unable to move, she was unable to communicate. ... This was a helpless victim who was sexually assaulted," Sgt. Tommy Thompson told reporters at a Wednesday afternoon press conference held at Phoenix Police headquarters. "This is of the highest priority of the Phoenix Police Department."
Thompson said the department is seeking the community's assistance in finding the perpetrator.
"At this point, I don't know that anybody has been ruled out," he said, in reference to any suspects. "This is still progressing. We are still going forward with it."
William Timmons, who was the CEO in charge of the facility's company, Hacienda HealthCare, when the woman became pregnant and gave birth, resigned Monday.
Phoenix police on Tuesday served a search warrant on Hacienda HealthCare to obtain DNA samples from male employees.
Workers are being asked to volunteer their DNA through something called a buccal swab, which takes cells from inside the cheek.
Thompson said police can force workers to participate in genetic testing via a court order if any decline.
Obtaining DNA samples
Thompson told reporters the department is obtaining DNA samples from a "large number" of individuals, though he did not specify how many.
"We are not going to point out who we've obtained DNA from, or who we intend to get DNA from," Thompson said Wednesday. "It's inaccurate to say we've tested the DNA. It's accurate to say we've tested DNA samples. That process can be a long process."
The 29-year-old woman remains in a local hospital with her baby, where both are recuperating, Thompson said.
The woman is a member of the San Carlos Apache Tribe in southeastern Arizona. Tribal officials have said the woman has been incapacitated for more than a decade.
A lawyer representing her family released a statement this week saying the infant is a baby boy who was born to a "loving family" and will be well cared for.
Police say they are getting assistance from several state agencies, including the Arizona Department of Health Services, Adult Protective Services, the Division of Developmental Disabilities, and the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System. Thompson said the Maricopa County Attorney's Office will handle any prosecution.
Hacienda de los Angeles is described in state records as a 60-bed, intermediate-level care facility for people with intellectual disabilities.
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