JOHNSTOWN, Pa. (AP/KDKA) — A Pennsylvania pediatrician faces dozens of child molestation charges after police say more victims have come forward to allege he sexually abused them, in some cases as their unaware parents were in the same room.READ MORE: Car Goes On Crash Course In Homewood, Knocking Down Utility Pole And Wires
The attorney general’s office on Monday filed 69 new counts against Johnstown physician Johnnie Wilson Barto, whose license was suspended by the state Board of Medicine after his first arrest in January when he was accused of inappropriately touching a 12-year-old patient.
Charging documents allege Barto fondled the genitals of girls and boys, including toddlers, often under the guise of treatment and in some cases drawing heated complaints from their parents. The pattern of abuse dates back to the 1980s.
“He was sexually abusing patients in his doctor’s office,” Attorney General Josh Shapiro said.
Investigators found Barto either waited for the child’s parents to leave the exam room or used his body as a shield to block their view of the assault.READ MORE: White Rhinoceros Calf Born At The Wilds In Ohio
“On several occasions when these methods didn’t work and a family member saw something, Barto just simply denied any wrongdoing and only said that what he was doing was standard medical care,” Shapiro said.
The 70-year-old Barto is in Cambria County Prison.
He’s accused of indecent assault, child endangerment and a count of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse. If convicted, Barto will spend the rest of his life behind bars.
His attorney hasn’t returned messages seeking comment.
Barto provided services through Laurel Pediatric Associates in both Somerset and Cambria counties. In a statement, Laurel Pediatrics said, “This is a very difficult time for us. Our first priority remains ensuring that your family continues to receive the very best care.”MORE NEWS: Pittsburgh Public Schools To Move To Remote Learning On Election Day
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