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More child assault charges against relative filed against Johnstown pediatrician

Jeff Himler
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Metrocreative

A pediatrician with offices in Cambria and Somerset counties who was charged in January with indecent assault of a 12-year-old patient is now accused of committing the same offense against a family member who was 14.

State Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced this week that Dr. Johnnie Barto, 70, of Johnstown, has been charged with additional counts of indecent assault, corruption of minors and endangering the welfare of children after a relative of Barto came forward to investigators and detailed his alleged assault on her in October 2002.

According to Shapiro, she told investigators she fell asleep in the family room of Barto’s residence during a family gathering and awoke to find Barto touching her inappropriately.

“These charges are deeply disturbing,” Shapiro said in a news release. He said his investigators, working with Richland Township police, “believe there are more victims out there in the Johnstown and Altoona area.”

Shapiro urged any other assault victims to come forward and speak with his agents. Anyone with information related to the Barto investigation should call Shapiro’s office at 412-565-7680 or township police at 814-266-8333.

According to court records, Barto was freed after posting 10 percent of his $100,000 bail on the latest charges. He was ordered to have no contact with the victim and not to leave the state, Shapiro said. A preliminary hearing is set for April 10 before District Judge Susan M. Gindlesperger.

Barto has been held for trial in the case involving a 12-year-old girl who was his patient.

Those who suspect an online predator or abuse may send an anonymous tip by texting PAKIDS + YOUR TIP to 847411.

Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-6622, [email protected] or via Twitter @jhimler_news.

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