The CEO of Hacienda Healthcare has stepped down amid an investigation into the sexual assault of a woman who gave birth while in a vegetative state.
Chief Executive Officer of Hacienda HealthCare Bill Timmons has resigned days after the patient in a coma gave birth to a baby, according to the website Arizona's Family citing the clinic's statement. The facility's board of directors accepted his resignation without opposition, NBC News reported.
The woman, who has remained nameless, was a victim of a near-drowning accident "at least a decade ago".
Global News reports that the baby is safe and healthy, but the question of how this happened still remains.
Now, after reports a woman in a vegetative state gave birth on December 29 while living at the facility where the staff was unaware that she was pregnant, Ms Cesena says "trust has definitely been broken".
KPHO-TV confirmed on Monday that the woman had been raped several times.
A Phoenix police spokesman said that a sexual assault investigation had been launched following the birth.
Staff at the private health facility were not aware that she was pregnant and were initially surprised when she began moaning during the beginning of her labour, according to Reuters. "Those things are shocking to me".
He declined to say whether its staff were being asked to undergo DNA testing to identify a possible suspect, or whether the facility was taking any preventative measures to protect patients against a similar situation. "We don't know if it's an employee, a father, a family member - we just don't know", the mother, Karina Cesena, told ABC 15.
A spokesman for Arizona Governor Doug Ducey said the reports were "deeply troubling" and that the state was re-evaluating its contract and regulatory authority over Hacienda Healthcare to tighten up patient safety measures.
"And we will do everything in our power to ensure the safety of every single one of our patients and our employees", Orman added.
Hacienda almost lost its Medicare funding in December 2013 after Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) found at least one staff member was abusive to multiple patients while several staff members were deficient in reporting patient allegations of abuse by staff.