Police investigating after Arizona woman in vegetative state gives birth

PHOENIX — Phoenix police are investigating a possible sex abuse case after a hospitalized woman in a vegetative state gave birth.

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The alleged victim has been a patient at the Hacienda HealthCare facility for at least a decade after a near-drowning incident left her in a vegetative state, an anonymous source told KPHO-TV. She gave birth to a boy on Dec. 29.

None of the staff knew the woman was pregnant until she began moaning and nurses discovered she was in labor, the source said. The baby is said to be alive and healthy.

The woman requires around-the-clock care and many people have had access to her room, the source said.

The source said that since the woman gave birth, the facility now requires male staff to have a female staff member with them if they are entering a female patient’s room.

Hacienda HealthCare spokeswoman Nancy Salmon said in a statement that they couldn't comment on any specific case because of state and federal privacy laws. She said patients' health and safety is the facility's No. 1 priority and "we always cooperate, when asked by any agency, in an open and transparent way."

Phoenix police Sgt. Tommy Thompson said "the matter is currently under investigation."

The Arizona Department of Health Services and the Arizona Department of Economic Security both said they're aware of the situation and are investigating.

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