Facility where vegetative woman gave birth launches internal review

Ex-prosecutor to lead review of facility where woman in vegetative state gave birth

PHOENIX (KNXV/CNN) - A former Arizona prosecutor will lead an internal review into what’s being investigated as a sex assault on a woman in a vegetative state.

The 29-year-old victim gave birth at the facility even though she has been incapacitated at age 3 after suffering a near-drowning.

Hacienda Healthcare picked Rick Romley to lead the internal review into the incident.

The facility is also being investigated by the state regulatory and law enforcement agencies.

The victim’s relatives said the baby was born into a loving family.

Police have been collecting DNA samples from male employees at the facility, but investigators said they don’t have suspects at this point.

Romley, a former Maricopa County attorney, addressed his steps that he will take looking into Hacienda Healthcare.

“I will be going in there, and I’m going to be looking at the security surrounding the entire facility to make sure that there’s no future harm to any of the other patients,” he said.

Saying nothing is off limits, Romley said he will go and do whatever he needs to do, with no timeline in place.

“I think my reputation precedes me that I call it as I see it and if not I walk away,” he said.

Even referencing that dramatic 911 call from inside, Romley said, “They didn’t know she was pregnant. That was my initial thought, they didn’t know.”

Originally apprehensive about taking this job, Romley said he wasn’t going to do it.

He said the board of directors and the new leadership convinced him, and he’s convinced they want to do right.

Rick Romley, Former Maricopa County Attorney:

“They want to fix things, they truly do, and it began to win me over, that I began to say, ‘You know what, I think that they really mean business here,’” Romley said.

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