Nurse arrested over suspected rape of incapacitated woman who gave birth, & more in News in 5.

-With AAP.

1. Nurse arrested over suspected rape of incapacitated woman who gave birth.

A licensed practical nurse has been arrested and charged with sexually assaulting an incapacitated woman who gave birth last month in an Arizona long-term health care facility.

Phoenix police chief Jeri Williams said investigators arrested 36-year-old Nathan Sutherland, a licensed practical nurse, on suspicion of one count of sexual assault and one count of vulnerable adult abuse, according to CNN.

Sutherland was one of the woman’s caregivers at the Hacienda HealthCare facility.

He was charged after authorities obtained a court order to take a DNA sample from him which was then compared to the DNA of the baby boy.

Staff at the facility said they did not know the woman was pregnant until she gave birth. The boy is now in the care of the patient’s family.

The 29-year-old patient had been incapacitated since she was three years old, following seizures she had as a child.

Earlier this month the CEO of the facility, Bill Timmons, announced his resignation –  it was unanimously accepted by the facility’s board of directors.

On Sunday Hacienda HealthCare announced that one doctor had resigned and another had been suspended.

In an initial court appearance Wednesday morning, a judge set a cash bond at $500,000 and scheduled Sutherland’s next court appearance for January 30.

2. Mother and son dead after car plunged into NSW river.


The bodies of an elderly woman and her son have been removed from a car that plunged into a river on NSW’s mid-north coast.

Police believe the car was travelling on Croads Esplanade at Smithtown north of Kempsey when it left the road and went into the water after 11am on Wednesday.

Margaret Rodwell, 79, and Cameron Rodwell, 54, both died at the scene.

Their bodies were retrieved from the submerged sedan on Wednesday afternoon after a rescue operation involving police, Marine Rescue and Maritime NSW.

The pair were locals and had been on their way to a party, according to 9 News.

Witnesses said they tried to make a U-turn before reversing suddenly down the riverbank and into the water.

“It’s very sad. A terrible thing to happen to anyone,” neighbour Julie Farrawell told Network Ten.

“(They were) very nice people, nice neighbours.”

Forensic police attended the scene and a report will be prepared for the coroner.

The vehicle has since also been retrieved from the Macleay River and police inquiries are continuing.

3. Aya tearfully farewelled in Israel.

Aya Maasarwe, the international student who was murdered in Melbourne last week, has been laid to rest in her hometown of Baqa al Gharbiyye in Israel.

Sharef Masarwa, Aya’s cousin, told AAP their family wished for the message of energy and happiness for life, as well as peace and love to go on forever.


“Even though, she’s not with us, her voice must continue to live on,” Sharef Masarwa said.

“Aya was a person full of life, energy, [and] optimism.

“She loved to travel (and) meet new people from different cultures and religions.”

Aya’s body was repatriated back to Israel one week after her violent death in Melbourne.

She was walking home last Tuesday after visiting a city comedy club when she was attacked, her body found the next morning.

Codey Herrmann, 20, has been charged with her rape and murder.

Her body on Wednesday was transported to the family home in the Palestinian city one hour north of Tel Aviv, where family and community members paid their last respects.

Her coffin was then transferred to the local mosque, followed on foot by hundreds of men from the city to pray.

Cars displaying black flags in mourning followed the procession, jamming the streets.

With the mosque full, hundreds more men lined the car park and surrounding streets as prayer was performed.

Her coffin was then carried out by close family members, draped in silver cloth.

All men in attendance solemnly walked to the adjoining cemetery, lowering her carefully into her burial place just after 11am local time.

Men in her family cried and prayed as dirt was shovelled to cover her coffin.

Sharef Masarwa described it as a difficult process getting Aya home from Australia.

“A lot of things needed to be arranged, however everyone was very helpful and we as a family are very grateful for all those people who helped,” he said.

4. Aussies slack on skin cancer checkups.

Jade Custance never spent time as a teenager lying in the sun trying to get a tan.

“I didn’t go out sunbaking. I’m blonde, fair-skinned, I don’t tan,” the 37-year-old told AAP.

“Growing up I’d been sunburnt here or there but not any more than anyone else I would think.”

But after having 13 potentially serious skin cancers removed as an adult, the mother-of-two has become vigilant – applying sunscreen daily and having her skin checked quarterly.


“I’ve learnt early detection is the best defence, it takes just five minutes to get your skin checked and its definitely worth it,” she said.

Research commissioned by life insurance company TAL found just 36 per cent of people have had a skin check in the past 12 months, while 29 per cent have never had one.

While two in three Australians will be diagnosed with some form of skin cancer before they are 70, 45 per cent are not aware of how prevalent it is.

“Skin cancer is a bigger issue than many Australians realise,” Dr Sally Phillips said.

“Our research found that a large proportion of Australians know that skin cancer is easily treated if diagnosed early, yet most people have not had a skin check in the last year.

“Early detection can literally save a life.”

The insurer’s research coincides with the release of a Cancer Council Victoria survey on Thursday, which found almost 40 per cent of adults suffered a painful sunburn last summer.

One in five Victorians had been sunburnt at least once, while seven per cent admitted they had been painfully burnt three or more times.

About four people were admitted to hospital each day in January 2018 for sunburn.

5. Australian writer detained in China.

The department of foreign affairs is seeking access to Chinese-Australian writer Yang Hengjun, who is being detained in China.


“On 23 January the Chinese authorities informed the Australian Embassy in Beijing that they have detained Mr Yang Hengjun,” the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said in a statement on Thursday morning.

“The Department is seeking to clarify the nature of this detention and to obtain consular access to him, in accordance with the bilateral consular agreement, as a matter of priority.”

The novelist and influential online commentator did not complete the second leg of a journey from New York to Shanghai after flying out of Australia on January 18 with his wife and son, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

Friends of Dr Yang believe he may have been detained by Chinese officials at Guangzhou airport.

Former China correspondent John Garnaut said Dr Yang is “not only brilliant but extraordinarily popular among the Chinese-speaking world and a courageous and committed democrat”.

“This will reverberate globally if authorities do not quickly find an off-ramp,” Mr Garnaut wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.

Similar concerns were raised for Dr Yang’s safety in 2011 when he disappeared after calling a friend from a Chinese airport claiming he was being followed by three men.

He later claimed the matter had been a “misunderstanding”.

6. Bryan Singer faces misconduct allegations.

Bohemian Rhapsody director Bryan Singer is facing new allegations, published in the Atlantic, that he engaged in sexual misconduct with underage boys.


In the report, four men allege Singer had sexual encounters with them when they were teenagers in the late 1990s.

One of the men, Victor Valdovinos, says he was a 13-year-old extra on the set of Apt Pupil when Singer fondled his genitals.

The three other accusers are identified in the story by pseudonyms.

One, identified in the story as Andy, says he had sex with Singer when he was 15.

Another man, identified as Eric, says he was 17 when he began having sex with the director.

Singer would have been 31 at the time.

The third man, Ben, alleges that he and Singer had oral sex when he was 17 or 18.

“He would stick his hands down your pants without consent,” the man told the Atlantic.

“He was predatory in that he would ply people with alcohol and drugs and then have sex with them.”

Singer’s lawyer Andrew Brettler denied to the magazine that Singer had ever had sex with underage boys, and disputed various details of the accusers’ accounts.

Singer was fired two weeks before the end of production on Bohemian Rhapsody in December 2017.

The film received five Academy Award nominations on Tuesday, including best picture and best actor for Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury.

Singer remains the credited director, but was not nominated.

He is next scheduled to direct Red Sonja for Millennium Films.

The authors of the Atlantic article, Alex French and Maximillian Potter, spoke to 50 sources over the course of a 12-month investigation.

French and Potter are both affiliated with Esquire, French as a writer at large and Potter as the editor at large.

The article was initially expected to appear in that magazine.

On October 15, Singer posted on Instagram that Esquire was looking to write a negative article about him.

“In today’s climate where people’s careers are being harmed by mere accusations, what Esquire is attempting to do is a reckless disregard for the truth, making assumptions that are fictional and irresponsible,” Singer wrote.