Police: Doctor molested more than 2 dozen children over the years

A pediatrician was arrested in January on charges that he molested a 12-year-old girl in his office was accused Monday of sexual abuse of more than 25 other patients in the past decades, in some cases, if their parents were not aware in the same room.

Dr. Johnnie Wilson “Jack” Barto, 70, used his position at a pediatric practice in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, “to feed his own sick sexual desires,” Attorney General Josh Shapiro said Monday in the announcement of the new charges.

His arrest at the beginning of the year, a deluge of complaints from former patients and parents of patients, authorities said.

The police said he molested both boys and girls, although most of the alleged victims were girls. The charging documents said Barto used his bare fingers to digitally penetrate girls and fondling of the genitals of boys.

The Johnstown Tribune-Democrat has reported that in 1998, Barto was accused of sexually molesting two girls during office visits. He was never charged criminally, and denied the allegations. Two years later, the Board of directors of the Medicine determined he could keep his license, the pronunciation of the accusations lacked evidence.

A woman confronted Barto in 2017 after the doctor made her wait outside the room while he examined her son’s genitals, although the 12-year-old was only suffering from the flu, according to police. The woman returned to the doctor fondle her son, police said, so they are directly confronted” Barto, who ran away without any explanation.

A girl of about 16, told her mother, herself a doctor, that Barto had improperly touched her during an examination in 1997, police said. When the mother-doctor face Barto in the presence of the office manager: “he promised that he would never examine a female patient,” the police wrote.

The attorney general’s office filed 69 additional counts against Barto, whose license has been suspended since January.

Bail on the new charges, which included indecent assault, aggravated indecent assault and child endangering, was set at $1 million, and a hearing is scheduled for August. 10.

He was already in prison when the new rates were announced, after being accused of following his January arrest with fondling two female family members when they were girls.

Telephone messages left for the attorney listed for him in online court record were not returned.

The attorney-general said Barto “violated every tenet of his oath as a doctor and as a decent human being — violating the trust of his victims, their parents and the entire community.”

The doctor was charged with involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with regard to the treatment of a girl, about the age of 12 years, in the middle of the 1990s. The girl had come for the treatment of an ear infection. They told the researchers he stroked her and never examined her infected ear.

In at least two cases, police said, Barto’s body blocked the mothers,” he molested their daughters.

The mother of the two alleged victims, a 10-year-old girl and her 11-year-old brother, lodged a complaint with the family’s regular pediatrician after Barto reached in both children’s underwear “and began feeling around the genitals,” the police wrote.

The family’s regular pediatrician, who worked in the same practice as Barto, told the mother that Barto “has a ‘strange bedside manner,” and they believed, that he possibly suffers from Asperger’s disease,” police said in the arrest affidavit.

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