Family of victim in Hacienda HealthCare sexual assault files lawsuit against Hacienda, others

It's been more than a year since an incapacitated woman at Hacienda HealthCare gave birth suddenly, in a case that made national and international headlines.

In the weeks that followed, a male nurse, identified as Nathan Sutherland, was arrested and charged with raping and impregnating her. With his trial set to begin next month, a new lawsuit has been filed by the victim's family.

The victim's family states this wasn't the first time the victim was assaulted, and that there were other victims at Hacienda, dating back nearly two decades.

This lawsuit is filed against the State of Arizona, because Hacienda receives state funding, with the incapacitated woman's family saying the state was negligent in overseeing the facility, and ultimately failed her.

The family is seeking compensation for the horrifying incident, but a dollar amount isn't listed. In addition to the State of Arizona, two of the woman's doctors are listed as defendants.

According to the lawsuit, the victim's first doctor, Phillip Gear, started to care for her in 1992. The victim was three years old at the time. The lawsuit alleges that in 2002, the woman was part of a group of five patients who were sexually assaulted.

The lawsuit states following the assault, the victim was only supposed to be looked after by female staffers or males accompanied by females, but unaccompanied male nurses, including Sutherland, were able to look after the woman.

Sutherland was arrested after his DNA matched the baby's. Staff at the facility were apparently unaware the woman was pregnant until she started giving birth.

The woman got a new doctor in 2018, Thanh Nguyen. Nguyen is also named as a defendant for failing to diagnose the pregnancy.

Gear has agreed to give up his medical license, but a complaint against Ngyuen has since been dismissed by Arizona Medical Board.

Read More: Hacienda HealthCare Investigation