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Hearing set over DNA evidence in rape of incapacitated woman
AP

Hearing set over DNA evidence in rape of incapacitated woman

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PHOENIX (AP) — A judge has scheduled a May 21 hearing to consider a challenge to the DNA evidence against a nurse charged with sexually assaulting an incapacitated woman who later gave birth at a long-term care facility in Phoenix.

An attorney for Nathan Sutherland argues the evidence should be tossed because Phoenix police officers didn’t get a warrant or have probable cause to take his client’s DNA and instead relied on a court order with a lesser standard of proof to gather the evidence.

Prosecutors are scheduled to file a response to the challenge later this week.

Police have said Sutherland’s DNA matched a sample taken from the woman’s son. The victim’s mother is the boy’s guardian

The surprise pregnancy was discovered in December 2018 when an employee at the long-term care facility was changing the garments of the then-29-year-old victim and noticed she was in the process of delivering a child. Employees told police that they had no idea the woman was pregnant.

Sutherland, a licensed practical nurse, has pleaded not guilty to charges of sexual assault and abuse of a vulnerable adult. He was fired by Hacienda after his arrest and has since given up his nursing license.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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