An Arizona male medical worker told police that he sexually assaulted a sedated female patient.
Xavier Uziel Perez, 38, was working at Integrated Pain Consultants in Scottsdale when the incident occurred on June 25, 2018, the Scottsdale Police Department said in a statement released on March 20.
The 48-year-old victim said that she was placed under sedation for pain treatment to her back but as she regained consciousness she believed she was sexually assaulted by Perez, who had provided her care in the recovery room.
Since then, police have been working on gathering evidence that confirmed the victim’s account. Police didn’t provide details on what kind of evidence officers gathered in the statement, reported Fox 10.
On KTAR, police provided more details.
“So it’s been ongoing from the initial contact, that being interviews with parties involved … the suspect, many potential witness[es], but more importantly, there was forensic evidence that was gathered as part of the investigation, and that just takes time for those results to come back and (be) rechecked and followed up on,” said Kevin Watts, Scottsdale Police public information officer.
“And so that kind of makes up for the time frame. It’s a lengthy process, but we were able to establish through that evidence the probable cause for the arrest of Mr. Perez.”
Perez was arrested on Wednesday and admitted to the sexual assault, police said. He said there were not other instances of sexual assault.
He has worked at all the other locations of Integrated Pain Consultants in the region over time and police think there may be other victims.
Anyone with information was asked to call the police at 480-312-5000.
Nurse Who Helped Sutherland Speaks Out
A nurse who for years worked closely with Nathan Sutherland, the male nurse accused of raping and impregnating an incapacitated woman he cared for, said that she was shocked after his arrest was made public.
Eleanora Riggers, a licensed practical nurse worked as a respiratory therapist at Hacienda HealthCare for 11 years, worked closely with Sutherland to help care for the victim, who has been described as a 29-year-old woman who can’t speak and can barely move.
Riggers said that Sutherland was a friend, describing him as fun and outgoing.
The news of his arrest shook her, she told ABC 15.
“I cried. I just cried and cried. I think he is a coward. I think he is the lowest scum imaginable because I considered him a friend,” Riggers said.
She said she’s worried that Sutherland abused other patients he cared for, a possibility the Phoenix Police Department said it’s looking into as part of its investigation.
Riggers said there were many other women who have similar conditions in the wing that Sutherland worked in, with some also not being able to communicate verbally.
And she said that staff members didn’t always follow a policy of checking in on patients every 15 minutes.
“In every facility, things are more lax at night. I can tell you that in every facility it’s lax at night,” Riggers said.
Police officials said that Sutherland, 36, was a licensed nurse who had worked at the facility since 2011. He was identified through a DNA sample, which matched with samples taken from the woman and a baby she had in December 2018.
Every male staff member was court ordered to take the DNA test administered by the police.
He was set to be charged with one count of sexual assault and one count of vulnerable adult abuse, Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams said.
The male nurse “committed this unspeakable act when he assaulted one of the most vulnerable members of our community,” Williams added. “From the minute we first became aware of this crime we have worked virtually nonstop trying to solve and resolve this case. The investigation was and still is the highest priority of our department.”