He has been charged with one count of sexual assault and one count of vulnerable adult abuse.
Sutherland appeared in court on Wednesday and did not enter a plea to the charges laid against him.
The young woman has been in a vegetative state at the hospice in Phoenix since a near drowning in 1992.
Her baby is reportedly ‘doing well’ and is in the care of the mother’s family.
According to the victim’s family, the mother’s condition includes brain damage, a seizure disorder and psycho-motor disability.
'She does not speak but has some ability to move her limbs, head and neck,' the family's attorney said in a statement.