Former top Ariz. prosecutor leading probe after vegitative woman gives birth

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 7:50 AM PT — Tuesday, January 15, 2018

An Arizona health care facility, where a patient in a vegetative state recently gave birth, has hired one of the state’s top former prosecutors to investigate the incident.

Former Maricopa County attorney Rick Romley outlined his objectives for the investigation Monday, saying he’ll make sure this “deeply disturbing matter” never happens again. Hacienda HealthCare officials said Romley will have complete access to the facility to identify where staff went wrong in upholding safety procedures.

Rick Romley, the former longtime top county prosecutor for metro Phoenix, speaks during a news conference Monday, Jan. 14, 2019 in Phoenix. Romley was hired by Hacienda HealthCare to conduct an internal review into the circumstances surrounding the sexual assault of patient at a Hacienda facility who has been in a vegetative state and gave birth to a baby in late December. (AP Photo/Jacques Billeaud)

Romley has been ordered to report on problems at the facility as he finds them, instead of waiting months to release a final report.

“I’ll be looking at their safety audits, I’ll be looking at complaints, I’ll be looking at the protocols — all of that, all that’s open, they have given me absolute assurances that the books are open to me,” he explained. “It’s every bit my intention that we will not hide a thing from law enforcement.”

Romley’s work will take place separately from police who are conducting their own criminal investigation.

Authorities are collecting DNA from male employees at the facility in order to identify a suspect in the sexual abuse case.

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