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Phoenix woman in vegetative state for years gives birth

Samson X Horne
| Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019, 1:12 p.m.
Phoenix police are investigating possible sex abuse at a nursing facility after a female patient recently became pregnant and gave birth.
Phoenix police are investigating possible sex abuse at a nursing facility after a female patient recently became pregnant and gave birth.

A Phoenix nursing facility is under investigation after someone impregnated a resident who has been in a vegetative state for the past 14 years.

TV news station KTVK/KPHO in Phoenix reported that the alleged victim gave birth to a baby boy on Dec. 29 at Hacienda HealthCare.

KTVK/KPHO said authorities "know that at some point last spring or summer, someone sexually assaulted a woman who was in a persistent vegetative state, and she became pregnant."

A source familiar with the situation told the station that the baby is "alive and healthy."

The victim required around-the-clock care and many employees of the facility had access to her room.

"None of the staff were aware that she was pregnant until she was pretty much giving birth," the source told the station.

The victim's condition rendered her defenseless in any circumstance that would lead to impregnation and the source told the TV station that the woman was "not even able to communicate the fact that she was pregnant."

A local OB/GYN said the situation was dangerous at every level for both mother and child and that the victim likely felt pain during the birthing process.

"This was an extremely dangerous situation with no monitoring." said Dr. Greg Marchand.

The biggest difference between a woman giving birth in a vegetative state, versus a healthy woman, is that this victim could not help push the baby out, according to Marchand.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said the Phoenix Police Department is the lead agency in the criminal investigation.

Samson X Horne is a Tribune-Review staff writer.

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