Pennsylvania Pediatrician Accused of Abusing 29 Children During Appointments

A 70-year-old pediatrician was accused Monday for sexually abusing 29 children under the guise of treating flu-like symptoms and migraines, The Tribune-Democrat reports. Dr. Johnnie Barto was charged with 69 counts of “involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault and endangering the welfare of children” after a months long investigation by the Richland Township Police Department. The accusations go as far back as 1990, and as recent as earlier this year. Barto was arrested in January after allegedly fondling the genitals of children as young as two weeks old when they came in for ear infections and sore throats. Victims told prosecutors that Barto would either shield the genital exams from parents in the room with his body, ask parents to leave the room, or tell parents that the genital “examinations” with ungloved hands were routine. “Barto used his position of authority as a pediatrician–the family doctor everyone relied on to treat and heal their children–and abused it to feed his own sick sexual desires,” Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said in a press conference Monday. “This was a monstrous act by a predator pediatrician.” If Barto gets convicted on all the charges against him, he will be in prison for the rest of his life.