CASE UPDATE: Johnstown Pediatrician Pleads Guilty to Sexually Abusing Children

December 20, 2018 | Topic: Criminal

Pediatrician charged earlier this year with sexually abusing more than 30 children over several decades

HARRISBURG —Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced that a Johnstown pediatrician pleaded guilty today to sexually abusing family members who were minors and admitted to assaulting more than two dozen children over many years. The pediatrician was charged in July for the sexual abuse of 29 children, after having been previously charged in January, March, April for similar crimes against another patient and two family members.

Dr. Johnnie Barto, 71, of Delta Drive, Johnstown, entered pleas today to multiple counts of aggravated indecent assault, which are second-degree felonies, in addition to multiple counts of indecent assault and endangering the welfare of children. Barto is currently incarcerated and will be sentenced on January 31, 2019, pending a sexual offenders assessment. His medical license has been suspended.

“Dr. Johnnie Barto used his position of authority – as the pediatrician who families relied on – to feed his own sick desires and take advantage of parents and children seeking basic health care,” said Attorney General Shapiro.  “My Office was able to bring him to justice because of the brave survivors who came forward and told their stories of abuse and assault, and I thank them for their courage. We will hold child sexual predators accountable for their crimes in Pennsylvania, whenever we find them – in a school, in a church, or in a family’s doctor’s office.”

To view Attorney General Shapiro’s remarks on Dr. Barto’s pleas, click here.

The vast majority of the assaults committed by Barto occurred in the examination room at Laurel Pediatric Associates of Cambria County and at local hospitals.  Victims included boys and girls, many aged 8 to 12 years old, with two being as young as a toddler and a two-week-old infant at the time of the abuse.

Anyone with information related to the Barto case should contact the Office of Attorney General’s special hotline at 412-565-7680 or Richland Township Police at 814-266-8333. Individuals who suspect an online predator or abuse can also send anonymous tips by texting PAKIDS + YOUR TIP to 847411.

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