PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - "When she was in the shower, I heard this scream and she had a seizure. Finally, she lost the ability to speak, lost the ability to move, lost the ability for everything," said Peter King.

King says his daughter was a healthy and vibrant teenager before complications of the West Nile virus left her with severe brain damage and bedridden more than a decade ago. At that time she was only 13 years old, and the family was advised to place her at the Hacienda Skilled Nursing Facility.

It's the same facility in which a woman in a vegetative state for more than 14 years recently delivered a baby. He says he was shocked when he heard the news.

[ORIGINAL EXCLUSIVE STORY: Woman in vegetative state gives birth at Hacienda Healthcare in Phoenix]

"Holy smokes that's the place Terri was at. I never expected something that devastating to happen but, however, I just wasn't surprised," King said.

That's because when they took their daughter there, he says they had concerns. When they spoke to an offsite doctor who had come to check on their daughter, he says the doctor confirmed what their gut was telling them.

[RELATED: Parents of other Hacienda patients concerned after woman gives birth at facility]

"I looked at him in the eye, and I got that feeling like he was saying yeah I'm not too fond of this place either, and he was just a visiting doctor. That's when he said, 'Why don't we try and get her to your home?'" King said.

We also spoke with a Florida attorney, Melvin Wright. His firm isn't currently involved in this case, but years ago handled a very similar case. In that situation, the suspect, who was an employee, was caught through DNA evidence. Arizona's Family asked him what are the probable next steps in this situation.

"Law enforcement will hopefully take DNA evidence from the victim and will try and identify the perpetrator," said Wright.

But he says it's not a simple or quick process.

"They have to identify the people who had access to her and then either get their consent or get a subpoena power order from the court based on probable cause which is a lot more difficult. It could take months if not years," said Wright.

[RELATED: HACIENDA HEALTHCARE PREGNANCY INVESTIGATION: Mom with daughter at facility says 'trust has been broken']

Wright also says the facility will most likely be held liable to some degree.

"The facility would have liability but only if it was proven they could have prevented this and in all likelihood, they could have prevented this. There's no reason that they would not know for example that she was pregnant. They should have been monitoring her bodily functions," said Wright.

King says they are glad they didn't let their daughter stay there and hopes more will now be done to protect others.

[CONTINUING COVERAGE: Hacienda HealthCare pregnancy investigation]

"Now something really devastating, a crime has been committed and it's known now which means finally maybe we can re-look at some of these long-term care facilities and make sure these patients are taken care of," said King.


Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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(2) comments


These facilities as well as memory care units have been in jeopardy of incidences like this due to inadequate hiring practices and staffing as well as managers and outside agencies not following up and not wanting to file the paper work involved with incidences such as these. There is defiantly someone on the staff that knows what was happening and hopefully they come forward. often occurrences of abuse went on frequently at the memory care unit my Mother was in but when we complained, since she was a ward of the state after running out of all of her money and having an Altec bed when we complained , they went out during business hours and didn’t see anything going on at that moment our complaints were handled as inconclusive and we were treated as troublesome and were barred frim seeing her as punishment for our telling of the abuse we walked in on and visibly saw for ourselves. Very frightening how the staff clams up for fear of losing their jobs.


Usually the people who sexually assault disabled patients have a long history sometimes spanning decades or more. Either patients are not believed or complaints ignored.

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