Laurel Pediatric Associates, where Dr. Barto used to practice.
Prosecutors Say State Could Have Stopped Sexual Abuse by Johnnie Barto
Prosecutors in Johnstown say that nearly two decades ago, Pennsylvania state regulators were aware of evidence that prominent pediatrician Johnnie Barto sexually abused two small children during doctor visits. However, the doctor was permitted to keep his medical license. According to prosecutors, this allowed Barto to sexually abuse at least a dozen more young patients – all the way until his arrest in January 2018.
Barto is currently awaiting trial on charges that he sexually abused over 30 children. Many of these victims and their parents believe that the Pennsylvania Board of Medicine failed to stop Barto and is partially responsible for allowing him to continue abusing young children for decades. According to an article by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, many of these parents and victims also blame the police, prosecutors, and Barto’s colleagues.
Barto was arrested in January and charged with groping a 12-year-old girl during a doctor’s appointment several weeks before. The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office, believing that there more be more victims, put out a notice for others to come forward. Dozens of other victims did so, with allegations going all the way back to the 1980s.
Barto has been charged with more than 70 counts of child sexual assault for alleged pervasive abuse over a period of several decades. There are five separate cases against them, but prosecutors are considering combining all five cases into one.