Joseph Silverman: Susan Kryhoski claims NYC pediatrician raped her every week when she was 11
A North Carolina resident, a 40-year-old woman, has filed a lawsuit against New York and Presbyterian Hospital on Thursday, July 29, seeking to hold the medical center responsible for weekly rapes she said she was subjected to when she was 11 years old.
Susan Kryhoski, 40, has claimed that anorexia expert Dr Joseph Silverman molested her multiple times in 1992 during a two-month stay at New York-Presbyterian’s Babies Hospital, which the doctor recommended to her family. Kryhoski was seeking treatment for her eating disorder from Silverman, according to her Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit filed on Thursday, July 29. Kryhoski has said that Dr Silverman would always come in on the weekends and used to tell her that he was performing a medical procedure that would ensure she could have kids later on in life. “It was rape,” Kryhoski said. “Complete and utter violation.” Kryhoski, at age 11, was 86 pounds when she was admitted and considered underweight for her height. “I didn’t understand anything about reproduction and sexuality,” she said.
Kryhoski narrated the horrifying experience saying that her room had a metal door with a small window and a curtain that could block the view inside and that she wasn’t allowed to communicate with other children on the 10th-floor ward and calls to her parents were monitored. Kryhoski also said that she was the only child there being treated for anorexia.
According to Silverman’s 2012 obituary, he was a “renowned international eating disorder expert” and “exemplary human being” who raised four children and spent his entire, 40-year career as a pediatric clinical professor with Columbia University and attending pediatrician at the Babies Hospital. Kryhoski called Dr Silverman a classic predator. “He had the clout and the protection of a very large hospital,” she said.
Kryhoski and the Gibbs Law Group have filed the lawsuit under New York’s Child Victims Act, which enables men and women who allege childhood sexual assaults to file decades-old complaints, before the window closes on August 14, 2021. “Nobody questioned him, even when red flags were coming up,” attorney Karen Barth Menzies said of Dr Silverman. The lawyer described it as a “culture of silence.” “Don’t question, don’t wonder why, don’t say anything, when a doctor is in the room with an 11- year-old girl, by himself, with the door closed,” the attorney said.
Kryhoski remembered that she transformed from a “shy, timid” child to “angry and obstinate” after her two months tenure in the hospital room. “I started drawing pictures of him as a monster with horns and hung them on my walls,” Kryhoski said. “He never saw them, because the nurses came through, took them down, and reprimanded me.” She said the nurses threatened to tell the doctor about the pictures. The pediatrician had already threatened her, she said. “He told me that if I told anyone, I would never see my parents again, ever again,” Kryhoski told PIX11. “He would keep me in the hospital and never release me.”
Kryhoski said the experience set her on “a path of self-harm, of suicide attempts.” “I truly didn’t feel like a sixth-grader anymore; I didn’t feel like an 11-year-old,” Kryhoski said. She said she was diagnosed with major depressive disorder and borderline personality disorder that she believes was “trauma-based.”
Kryhoski got married when she was 28 and credits her husband for his understanding and support. The couple shifted to North Carolina, where Kryhoski said she was helped enormously by a doctor who specializes in trauma. Kryhoski said she chose to go public with her story, as her own daughter is turning 11, the same age she was when the alleged rape happened. “I’m not a survivor anymore; I’m a warrior now,” Kryhoski said. “Raise your voice,” she advised others who may be suffering. “Predators thrive in the darkness.”