Renton mother accused of demanding unnecessary surgeries, treatments for 6-year-old daughter

Charges of assault of a child and domestic violence have been filed against a Renton mother of a 6-year-old girl, who was adopted as a baby, for allegedly “subjecting her child to medically unnecessary surgical interventions and restraints,” according to King County prosecutors.

Sophie Hartman, 31, has been featured in online fundraisers and causes like Make-A-Wish for her daughter, who was adopted in Zambia as an infant. Hartman has claimed in various video stories that her daughter is afflicted by rare diseases.

“Doctors, even the best pediatric specialists, do not know what to do and do not have treatment options,” Hartman said. She also shared a video showing her daughter paralyzed by seizures, saying they can last for hours and often stop her from breathing.

“At any given time with no warnings, (she) can go paralyzed completely,” Hartman said. “She can lose the ability to talk. She can go into all kinds of different seizures and have extreme perform surgeries inserting feeding tubes.”

Investigators said the girl was “subjected to over 474 doctors’ visits.”

Prosecutors said doctors at Children’s Hospital told Hartman her daughter could walk normally, but that “the defendant has required her daughter to wear leg braces, orthotics and use a wheelchair since at least 2016.”

Investigators with police in Renton — where Hartman lives — got involved in 2019, according to prosecutors. They found out Hartman allegedly tried to have her daughter’s puberty delayed with hormone therapy.

During the investigation, doctors at Children’s Hospital were able to observe the little girl for two weeks and said:

“She was able to run and walk without the use of orthotics. She demonstrated no need for a wheelchair.”

Renton police said a search warrant revealed an excerpt from Hartman’s diary, which read, “When it comes to suffering, I am a compulsive liar/exaggerator.”

Hartman’s attorneys sent KIRO 7 News a statement calling the charges a “miscarriage of justice.” The statement claimed all allegations are based on “false statements and misrepresentations by a doctor at Children’s hospital” who “has never seen the child or spoken to Ms. Hartma.”

The attorneys said they will refute the statements with expert testimony from a doctor who believes Hartman is being falsely accused.

“Ms. Hartman is innocent of these charges,” the statement read.