Skip To Content
BuzzFeed News Home Reporting To You

Utilizamos cookies, próprios e de terceiros, que o reconhecem e identificam como um usuário único, para garantir a melhor experiência de navegação, personalizar conteúdo e anúncios, e melhorar o desempenho do nosso site e serviços. Esses Cookies nos permitem coletar alguns dados pessoais sobre você, como sua ID exclusiva atribuída ao seu dispositivo, endereço de IP, tipo de dispositivo e navegador, conteúdos visualizados ou outras ações realizadas usando nossos serviços, país e idioma selecionados, entre outros. Para saber mais sobre nossa política de cookies, acesse link.

Caso não concorde com o uso cookies dessa forma, você deverá ajustar as configurações de seu navegador ou deixar de acessar o nosso site e serviços. Ao continuar com a navegação em nosso site, você aceita o uso de cookies.

A Woman With "Significant Intellectual Disabilities" Just Gave Birth In A Nursing Home And Now Police Are Investigating

Men working at the Hacienda Skilled Nursing Facility in Phoenix are reportedly no longer allowed in the rooms of female patients alone.

Last updated on January 24, 2019, at 12:49 p.m. ET

Posted on January 4, 2019, at 5:03 p.m. ET

Google Maps

Phoenix police have opened an investigation into allegations that a woman with significant intellectual disabilities was sexually assaulted at a private nursing care facility — and recently gave birth to a baby boy.

Police spokesperson Sgt. Tommy Thompson confirmed to BuzzFeed News on Friday that detectives were looking into the Hacienda Skilled Nursing Facility but declined to provide further specific information, citing the ongoing investigation.

Local news outlets reported that the woman patient — who has not been identified — has been incapacitated as a result of childhood seizures since the age of 3. She reportedly gave birth to a baby boy on Dec. 29.

The story was first reported Thursday by AZ Family, a Phoenix CBS affiliate, after it was approached by a woman “familiar with the situation” who wished to remain anonymous.

The whistleblower, whose face was hidden and voice disguised for the televised segment, told reporter Briana Whitney she felt “anger and sadness” when she learned what had happened to the patient.

She said that the patient requires round-the-clock care, with many of the facility’s employees having access to her room, and that the woman had no way to defend herself or communicate what had happened to her.

“None of the staff were aware that she was pregnant until she was pretty much giving birth,” she said. She told Whitney that staff were alerted that something was wrong with the patient when she began to vocalize in pain. “From what I’ve been told she was moaning. And they didn’t know what was wrong with her.”

She said that a nurse on duty was able to deliver the baby boy, who is apparently alive and healthy.

Hacienda HealthCare / Facebook / Via Facebook: HHCAZ

The Hacienda Skilled Nursing Facility, where the patient has lived for 26 years, is part of the larger Phoenix-based Hacienda HealthCare system. The organization’s website said this particular facility provides “comprehensive, individual, home-away-from-home care to children and young adults ages 45 or younger” with “profound disabilities and complex medical needs.”

In an emailed statement to BuzzFeed News on Friday, a public relations representative for Hacienda HealthCare declined to provide specific information about the situation, citing privacy laws, but said that the organization had only recently become aware of “a deeply disturbing incident involving the health and safety of a Hacienda resident.”

“As an organization, Hacienda HealthCare stands fully committed to getting to the truth of what, for us, represents an unprecedented matter. We are already conducting a comprehensive internal review of our processes, protocols, and people to ensure that every single Hacienda resident is as safe and well cared for as possible. Anything less than that is unacceptable to our team, our company’s leaders and the communities we serve,” the statement said.

Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) Director of Communications Melissa Blasius-Nuanez said in an emailed statement to BuzzFeed News that the department is assisting the police in their criminal investigation and mandating heightened safety measures at the facility.

“Upon learning of the allegation, ADHS immediately initiated an onsite complaint investigation to ensure the health and safety of the patients and ensure the facility is in compliance with all state laws and regulations,” she said, adding there will be “increased staff presence during patient interactions, increased monitoring of the patient care areas, and increased security measures with respect to visitors at the facility.”

The whistleblower told AZ Family that the facility had implemented new policy in the week following the birth, and that male staff were no longer allowed in female patients’ rooms unless they were accompanied by a female staff member.

Bunwit / Getty Images


The woman who gave birth to the child has "significant intellectual disabilities as a result of seizures very early in her childhood," her family said in a statement on Jan. 22. A previous version of this article reported she was in a vegetative state and the language has been updated to reflect the family's statement.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.