Woman raped by Naples doctor encourages all abuse victims to seek help through Project Help

Reporter: Gail Levy
Published: Updated:

A woman is speaking out after she was raped at her doctor’s office in Collier County.

Dr. Eric Salata was arrested last year after several women accused him of giving them laughing gas before raping them during their appointments at the Pura Vida Medical Spa in Naples.

Salata was never held accountable because he died by suicide and was found in the woods near his East Naples home.

Maida Speramdeo plans to tell her story during Project Help’s Survivor Voices event on Thursday. The event is to honor those whose lives were taken by their abuser, those who survived and for those who need a little extra strength to leave.

“I had gone to a medical spa that I had been to quite a few times,” Speramdeo said.

She felt comfortable under the care of Salata until November when two women came forward to say they were knocked out by laughing gas. When they came to, they found Salata performing a sex act on them.

Speramdeo said it happened to her a year ago.

She said she went to the spa for a collagen-boosting procedure.

“We started with the procedure and I was pretty, you know, unconscious. And I started to feel like touching on my body,” she said.

The touching and the pressure got worse and worse. And then she woke up.

“I jumped up and I yelled to him to stop and he he just froze and he did say that I was dreaming. But I knew I was not dreaming,” Speramdeo said.

The reality changed her life.

“I didn’t want to put makeup on, I didn’t want to … I didn’t care anymore,” she said.

Now, she is back to wearing a full face of make-up and jewelry. She also has begun to smile again.

Even though that pain still lives inside her, she has gotten help through Project Help.

“I am here because of them,” she said.

For months, she’s gone to therapy and worked through her trauma.

Every day, it gets a little better, and she gets a little bit stronger.

Now she hopes to help others who carry the same pain.

“There is help for you,” she said. “You are not alone.”

The event takes place at Baker Park at 4:30 p.m.

Speramdeo’s story will be part of other’s survivors’ stories there.

And if you or someone you know is in need of Project Help’s Rape Recovery & Victims Service Center, you can visit their website.

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