Attorney General: Johnstown pediatrician faces more charges for indecent assault of underage girls
HARRISBURG — Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced Monday that new charges are pending against a Johnstown pediatrician already accused of assaulting a patient and a 14-year-old family member, according to a press release.
Dr. Johnnie Barto, 70, was arrested in January and charged with indecent assault of a patient. Additional charges for the indecent assault of the 14-year-old family member followed in March. On Monday, Shapiro’s office announced that Barto has also been charged with the indecent assault of another relative — this one a 7-year-old girl.
“There are few whom parents trust more with their own children than their pediatrician and their own family,” Shapiro said in a press release. “Barto took advantage of that and betrayed their trust. He preyed on young children for his own sexual gratification, and these serious charges reflect the horrendous nature of his crimes.”
The latest alleged victim told investigators the most recent assault occurred at a Christmas gathering with family members in 2017. She said as she sat in Barto’s lap watching television, he began touching her inappropriately. There were other family members nearby, the victim said, but Barto turn his chair away from the others in order to conceal his actions.
The victim estimates the assaults began on her when she was as young as three years old, and almost always occurred in the same chair while watching television, investigators say.
Shapiro and his investigators believe there are more victims of Barto, and urged them to come forward.
“Our investigators have heard from other victims, and our investigation is active and ongoing,” Shapiro said. “I thank those who have already come forward, and I believe them. I want any victims and parents to hear from me: Please come forward and share any information you have.”
The Office of Attorney General’s hotline for the Barto case is (412) 565-7680. Victims or their families can also call Richland Township Police at (814) 266-8333.