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Hacienda patient may not have shown signs of pregnancy, expert says

12 January 2019
Hacienda patient may not have shown signs of pregnancy, expert says

Phoenix police learned of the pregnancy situation when they received a call on December 29 about a newborn in distress at the Hacienda HealthCare facility.

The baby and mother were transported to a local hospital where both are recovering. Police announced Friday that they had opened the investigation into the alleged assault.

The incident occurred at a clinic run by Hacienda HealthCare, near Phoenix.

"At this point, I don't know that anybody's been ruled out", he said.

While the hunt for her assailant is in progress, the case has raised the question: How could a woman who for 14 years has presumably displayed no awareness and little brain functioning conceive a child and give birth?

PEOPLE reports they date back to 2009 from an order that transferred guardianship of the woman from her biological father to her mother.

Tribe chairman Terry Rambler spoke on behalf of the tribe in saying he was "deeply shocked and horrified".

The Hacienda intermediate care facility specializes in providing around-the-clock care for infants, children and young adults with developmental disabilities or who are "medically fragile".

A welcome development, according to a statement from Hacienda Healthcare, "We had consulted attorneys to determine whether it would be legal for our company to compel our employees to undergo DNA testing conducted through Hacienda or for Hacienda to conduct voluntary genetic testing of staffers".

"When you have a loved one committed to palliative care, when they are most vulnerable and dependent upon others, you trust their caretakers", he said Tuesday. It also appears that caretakers were completely unaware of her pregnancy until she began to give birth. It is my hope that justice will be served'.

A spokesman for Arizona Governor Doug Ducey over the weekend called the reports "deeply troubling" and said the state was re-evaluating its contract and regulatory authority over Hacienda. The CEO of Hacienda HealthCare resigned this week as the provider announced new safety measures, including more than one staff member being present during patient interactions and more scrutiny of visitors.

Phoenix attorney John Michaels said: "The family would like me to convey that the baby boy has been born into a loving family and will be well cared for".

Michealels also revealed the patient's relatives are "outraged, traumatized and in shock by the abuse and neglect of their daughter at Hacienda Healthcare", adding, "The family is well aware of the intense news and public interest in their daughter's case, but at this time is not emotionally ready to make a public statement". "We were not expecting this", she said.

Advocates for people with disabilities say Arizona needs to find a way to monitor allegations of sexual abuse and sexual violence in group settings.

Court records obtained by The New York Times indicated that the victim was born in 1989 and had been at the facility since 1992, suggesting that she may have been in her current condition since the age of 3.