The woman in a vegetative state who gave birth in December 2018, prompting a sexual assault investigation, was raped multiple times, according to a new report.
The woman was raped several times, reported KPHO.
The woman has not been named but was identified as a 29-year-old Native American woman.
She has been in a vegetative state at Hacienda de Los Angeles, a Hacienda HealthCare facility in Phoenix, Arizona, for over a decade.
Ongoing issues with Hacienda have been revealed since the investigation into what happened was launched by the Phoenix Police Department.
The nursing home was cited in late 2017 after it was discovered that staff members were walking in on a male patient while he was naked.
And a former manager at Hacienda told KPHO that Bill Timmons, who resigned on Jan. 7 was told about staff members standing around a nonverbal patient’s bed and talking about the patient’s genitalia.
“The poor guy was just laying (sic) there. He couldn’t say anything. He couldn’t communicate, he couldn’t defend himself,” said the woman, who worked as a manager at the company for over a decade.
“We were talking about reporting it to CPS (now known as Department of Child Safety) and Bill Timmons slammed his fist on the table and said, ‘No! No one is going to report this.’”
She said that the incident was never reported and that other abuse likely went on over the years.
— azfamily 3TV CBS 5 (@azfamily) January 8, 2019
Timmons announced his resignation on Monday and the company said the resignation was unanimously accepted by the board.
Gary Orman, executive vice president of the healthcare’s board, said in a statement that Hacienda “will accept nothing less than a full accounting of this absolutely horrifying situation, an unprecedented case that has devastated everyone involved, from the victim and her family to Hacienda staff at every level of our organization.”
“I want to assure our patients, their loved ones, our community partners, the agencies we do business with, Governor Ducey and the residents of Arizona, we will continue to cooperate with Phoenix Police and the investigating agencies at all levels in every way possible,” said Orman.
“And we will do everything in our power to ensure the safety of every single one of our patients and our employees.”
The statement was sent to news organizations but not posted on Hacienda’s website. There’s no mention of the investigation or how a vegetative woman gave birth on the site.
On its website, Hacienda describes itself as “Arizona’s leading provider of specialized health care services for medically fragile and chronically ill infants, children, teens, and young adults as well as those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.”
Timmons is still listed as the CEO on the site as of the morning of Jan. 8. His biography says that “Bill is without a doubt the heart and soul of Hacienda” and says he helped Hacienda expand from 63 clients to more than 2,550 in addition to expanding his workforce from 105 to 750.
A Birth by a Woman in a Vegetative State
The probe into the birth by the woman in a vegetative state started in early January.
The unnamed woman gave birth at a Hacienda facility in Phoenix, leaving staff members stunned as they reportedly were unaware that she was pregnant.
A source told NBC 12 that Hacienda has changed protocol since the birth, requiring that male staff members be accompanied by female staff members.
The source also said that Hacienda does not have cameras inside the hallways or rooms of the facility: the rape or sexual assault that happened was not recorded.
According to The Brain Foundation, “a vegetative state is when a person is awake but showing no signs of awareness.”
“A person in a vegetative state may open their eyes, wake up and fall asleep at regular intervals, and have basic reflexes, such as blinking when they’re startled by a loud noise, or withdrawing their hand when it’s squeezed hard. They’re also able to regulate their heartbeat and breathing without assistance,” the foundation added. “However, a person in a vegetative state doesn’t show any meaningful responses, such as following an object with their eyes or responding to voices. They also show no signs of experiencing emotions nor of cognitive function.”
The Arizona Department of Health Services told the Arizona Republic that in the wake of the news that a woman gave birth, the facility is required to have heightened security measures including increased staff presence during patient interactions, increased monitoring of patient care areas, and increased security measures with respect to visitors to the facility.
“We are aware of this situation and are actively working with local law enforcement in their criminal investigation,” the department said in a statement.
The Department of Economic Security, another state agency that serves disabled clients, said that it completed health and safety checks on all residents at Hacienda following the report of the birth but it’s not clear what the agency found during the checks. The agency only said that it’s working with the Phoenix Police Department on the department’s investigation.
Elder abuse “is an intentional act or failure to act, by a caregiver or another person in a relationship involving an expectation of trust that causes or creates a risk of harm to an older adult, or someone aged 60 or older, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to the National Institute of Aging, about 1 in 10 adults over age 60 are abused, neglected, or financially exploited. But the National Center on Elder Abuse noted that because of the large elderly population and the fact that not all incidents are reported, there’s no full statistics available for people suffering from elder abuse and neglect.
“Signs of elder abuse may be missed by professionals working with older Americans because of a lack of awareness and adequate training on detecting abuse. The elderly may be reluctant to report abuse themselves because of fear of retaliation, lack of physical and/or cognitive ability to report, or because they do not want to get the abuser in trouble,” the center stated.
Still, one comprehensive review found that the prevalence of elder abuse was about 10 percent while another study found that 260,000 or 1 in 13 older adults in New York state had been victims of at least one form of elder abuse in the preceding year, including financial exploitation, emotional neglect, and sexual abuse.
The New York State Elder Abuse Prevalence Study found that for every case known to programs and agencies, 24 were unknown.
The center noted that perpetrators are most likely to be adult children or spouses, more likely to be male, to have history of past or current substance abuse, to have mental or physical health problems, to have history of trouble with the police, to be socially isolated, to be unemployed or have financial problems, and to be experiencing major stress.
According to the Nursing Home Abuse Guide, signs of abuse include broken bones or fractures, bruising, bed sores, and unexplained weight loss.