A Netflix documentary star has filed a criminal sexual assault complaint against a Florida children’s hospital where she was previously treated.
“I am claiming that there was sexual abuse. It’s something that I was quite quiet about for a couple of years because I was worried it wasn’t going to be taken seriously,” Netflix star Maya Kowalski, 17, said Thursday on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom.”
A St. Petersburg Police Department spokesperson likewise confirmed with the Sarasota Herald-Tribune that she has indeed filed a complaint against Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg.
As previously reported, Kowalski was 10 years old when she was admitted to Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in Oct. 2016 because of “excruciating pain,” according to The Cut.
“The girl’s parents, Beata and Jack Kowalski, had told the hospital that Maya suffered from a neurological disorder called complex regional pain syndrome, or CRPS. They said that she was acutely sensitive to stimuli of all kinds and that disabling pain radiated through her legs and feet, requiring the use of a wheelchair,” The Cut notes.
“Maya spent 24 hours in the intensive-care unit at All Children’s, screaming and writhing. When a nurse attempted to conduct an ultrasound, her mother insisted that the only way Maya could tolerate the contact was if she received an infusion of ketamine,” The Cut’s reporting continues.
Her mother’s insistence raised red flags, leading eventually to Kowalski being separated from her parents on the basis that her mother was abusing her.
“It’s absolutely preposterous that someone would say that my mother was forcing these symptoms onto me. You have to remember – her and I both – we didn’t know what I had. No one did. So, she couldn’t come up with a list of symptoms and make up this disease,” Kowalski told Fox News on Thursday.
Her mother, Beata, committed suicide several months after she was separated from her.
“I know that my mom gave up her life for me. I understood that at the age of 11 years old. Now, I try to go on. I try to live my life as positively as I can, but I want people to know that in her doing that, she wasn’t giving up. As a matter of fact, in her doing that, that’s the only way she saw for us to win,” Kowalski said Thursday.
Subsequently, after her mother’s death, she sued the hospital and won, earning herself a massive payday earlier this very month:
Netflix’s Maya Kowalski openly weeps after winning $220M lawsuit against All Children’s Hospital https://t.co/Qj7nsIjrHe
— Sherry Eaton ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (@RightOfRush) November 11, 2023
There was just one problem. During the trial, the sexual assault allegations were raised but ultimately not admitted into the case by the judge. Which is why Kowalski felt compelled to file a sexual assault complaint after the suit’s conclusion.
“Greg Anderson, the family’s attorney, said the complaint was for criminal assault against an unknown perpetrator, as the identity of the individual is still unknown, for an encounter that Maya said happened while she was at All Children’s Hospital in October 2016,” according to the Herald-Tribune.
“Anderson told the Court that Maya Kowalski had relayed to him there was a time when someone she perceived to be a doctor came into the room without a chaperone or assistant. Anderson added Maya Kowalski described the man as being tall, and thin, with dirty blonde hair, round glasses, and wearing a white lab coat similar to those worn by doctors at the hospital before committing an act of sexual abuse,” the paper notes.
According to Anderson, the act of sexual abuse involved the unidentified doctor or nurse pulling down Kowalski’s pajamas and then staring at her genitals for “long enough for her to be not only startled but start to cry,” as reported by Scripps News.
“The attorney said it’s important to understand the plaintiffs haven’t identified a specific perpetrator at the hospital, and it’s not fully clear whether he was a real employee or just someone who sneaked in and managed to get identifying bearings of an employee, like a Johns Hopkins lab coat and ID that Maya recalled seeing,” Scripps News noted.
Ethen Shapiro, an attorney who represented All Children’s Hospital, told Fox News in a statement that the hospital began investigating the matter as soon as it was originally broached in court.
“As soon as the hospital became aware of the allegations, and in accordance with their policies, they immediately initiated an internal investigation and contacted law enforcement last month,” he said.
“Federal privacy laws restrict Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital from sharing more, but the hospital takes allegations of this nature very seriously and always puts the safety of their patients above all else,” he added.
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