DETROIT - She went to the hospital to get better. Instead, a local mother says her life has been turned upside down because a hospital worker sexually assaulted her.
“I pray because that’s what gets me by,” said a mother of four from Macomb County who’s using the name Mary Doe in a lawsuit to protect her identity.
These days, Mary says praying is about the only thing that brings her peace.
“I’m still drowning in sorrow and tears inside,” said Mary.
Mary says her whole life changed after a stay at St. John Hospital in on Detroit’s east side.
“I feel like I’m worthless. That’s how I feel inside, empty,” said Mary.
Mary went in to the hospital in July of 2012 to be treated for an aneurysm. While she was there, Mary says a Patient Care Technician sexually assaulted her. Mary says 32-year-old Jason Scott Schwartz kept coming into her room, trying to talk to her and making lewd comments -- even though he was not supposed to be directly caring for her. Mary says Schwartz snuck up behind her, forced his hand into her pants, and sexually assaulted her.
“I was pleading and crying,” said Mary.
Mary says she fled to another room to ask for help, but Schwartz came after her.
“He grabbed me, shoved me back in the room, told me to sit here, be quiet, don’t say nothing, sit here. So I got real scared and I clammed up,” Mary described as she sobbed.
Mary says when a nurse came in and saw her bleeding and frightened, they called the Detroit Police.
The police launched an investigation, and that’s when Mary says she learned that this wasn’t the first time Schwartz had allegedly terrorized a patient.
“It’s stunning that a hospital -- a place to protect and care for people-- allowed a predator to stay in their midst,” said Livonia attorney Mike Cox. Cox says according to police records, Schwartz actually admitted that this wasn’t the first time. About six months before Mary accused Schwartz of sexually assaulting her, another female patient at St. John Hospital also accused him of making lewd comments and exposing himself to her.
According to two lawsuits that Cox filed against the hospital and Schwartz on behalf of both the women, instead of calling the cops -- St. John gave Schwartz a four day suspension and allowed him to go back to work.
“That’s an abomination,” said Cox.
Not only were the police not told, Cox says the staff wasn’t told either. He says that means Schwartz had access to female patients here at the hospital for another six months.
And that’s not all. The 7 Investigators obtained the statement that Schwartz gave to Detroit Police after Mary Doe reported her alleged assault.
In it Schwartz denies touching her, instead saying he’s been falsely accused. But he references a third patient, saying, “It is sad that in the almost 5 years I have been here that this has happened 2 other times and I don’t know why.”
“They’ve done nothing but destroy my marriage, destroy my life, all because they gave this guy more time to work around women being a predator,” said Mary.
“What happened here is preventable. It didn’t have to happen,” said Cox.
Schwartz no longer works for the hospital, and the Wayne County Prosecutor did charge him with two felony counts of criminal sexual conduct.
But the judge decided the jury should only be told about Mary’s alleged assault –not the first allegation as well -- and they did not convict Schwartz.
A lawyer for Schwartz denies the allegations, calling all claims of sexual assault “untrue” and “unfounded.” The lawyer also says Schwartz plans to go after Mary in a lawsuit of his own.
As for Mary, despite her health problems, she will no longer go to the hospital.
“Who do you trust,” said Mary.
7 Action did contact St. John Hospital. A spokesman says because of the pending lawsuit, they cannot talk publicly about this case.