After a woman in a vegetative state unexpectedly gave birth at Hacienda HealthCare in Phoenix, police scrambled to figure out what must have been the sexual assault that preceded it.

On Wednesday, police charged Nathan Sutherland, a 36-year-old licensed nurse, with sexual assault and abuse of a vulnerable adult. Authorities obtained a search warrant compelling Sutherland, who was at least partially responsible for the victim’s care at the facility, to give a DNA sample Tuesday morning. A few hours later, he was in handcuffs.

The birth — and the sexual assault of a vulnerable individual — cast a harsh glare on conditions at a nonprofit organization that bills itself as a leading provider of health care for Phoenix’s medically fragile.

The 29-year-old woman who gave birth a few days after Christmas was a special — and especially dangerous — case: She had been in a persistent vegetative state since 1992. The infant was delivered by a Hacienda HealthCare nurse.

This 18-year-old accused her teacher of assaulting her. Then she was burned alive.

‘I will fight this crime ‘till my last breath,’ she said

This man allegedly raped a girl on a cruise ship. Here’s why authorities in Spain were forced to release him.

The alleged assault would have occurred in international waters, making the path to prosecution ‘vague’

‘It has affected my mental health’: George Mason students protest Brett Kavanaugh teaching a summer law course

Survivors of sexual assault have mobilized to demand that he be terminated