Police seek DNA samples from clinic staff after vegetative woman gives birth

Faith Castro
January 9, 2019

Karina Cesena has barely left her daughter's room at a private health-care facility in Phoenix since she learned that a another patient there in a vegetative state had given birth.

The tribe confirmed in the press release the woman is 29 years old, meaning she has been in a vegetative since her late teens.

Police have been stationed outside Hacienda Healthcare over the last few days.

"On behalf of the Tribe, I am deeply shocked and horrified at the treatment of one of our members", said San Carlos Apache Tribe Chairman Terry Rambler.

A Phoenix police spokesman said that a sexual assault investigation had been launched following the birth.

"As an organization, Hacienda HealthCare stands fully committed to getting to the truth of what, for us, represents an unprecedented matter", David Leibowitz, spokesman for Hacienda HealthCare, said in a statement released to ABC News.

Police in Phoenix are investigating a sexual assault at a nursing facility after a patient in a vegetative state became pregnant and gave birth.

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A Hacienda board member says the facility "will accept nothing less than a full accounting of this absolutely horrifying situation". It's also unclear if staff members at the facility were aware of her pregnancy until the birth. Employees did not know that the patient was pregnant. Since entering the hospital's care, she's been in a complete coma.

She said no one reported that incident exclusively out of fear, and she believes there's been other abuse throughout the years.

In addition to working with police, state officials are "re-evaluating the state's contract and regulatory authority as it relates to this facility and have been working closely with state agencies to ensure all necessary safety measures are in place", Patrick Ptak, a spokesperson for Ducey, R, said in a statement.

Founded as Hacienda de Los Angeles in 1967, Hacienda HealthCare is described on its website as "the leading provider of specialized medical care and social services for Arizona's infants, children and young adults who are medically fragile or chronically ill, including those with developmental disabilities". In 2013, a male employee was found to have made sexually explicit remarks to patients, though no physical or sexual abuse allegations were made and the employee was sacked.

Since the news of the incident broke, parents of patients at the Phoenix-based health care facility have come forward, expressing their concerns.

"Federal and state laws guarantee certain basic rights to all residents of this facility and they include the right to a dignified existence and to be treated with dignity", a report issued at the time read.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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