Women speak out against doctor convicted of sexual assault

Local News

Nine former patients of convicted child molester and former Johnstown Pediatrician Johnnie Barto gathered today in cambria county to speak out.

These women say they want to show support for 5 plaintiffs that filed a lawsuit against Barto and the establishments he worked at.

“It is a shame, it has took us twenty years for our voices to be heard, now it is time to make a stand,” Ann Plummer, Former patient of Dr. Barto, said.
Ann and her sister Ashley Krazanowski say they were both assaulted by Dr. Barto when they were children.
Their mother Sherry Lee, says when this happened, she told nurses, and nothing was ever done.  She says her daughters speaking today about what happened, brings back all those emotions.
“This is hard, I mean it just brings a lot back, and when somebody hurts your child, it hurts you,” Lee said.
In March Barto was convicted on 69 counts of endangering the welfare of children, and different forms of assault.
The lawsuit filed on Tuesday against Barto, Conemaugh Health Systems and Laurel Pediatrics, claims the hospital and clinic were aware of the sexual assault allegations and did not act.
Attorney Andrew Dalton is representing the five plaintiffs in the current case against Barto.  He says even though the women who spoke today cannot press charges against barto, because of the states statute of limitations, it’s still good they shared their stories.
“I think it’s important for survivors be heard, whenever they feel it’s their time to be heard,” Andrew Dalton, Lawyer. Dalton and Associates, P.A.
This afternoon, the group of women spoke at the capitol in Harrisburg with Senator Katie Muth.  They’re pushing for senate bill 540,
“We have people who are desparate for help and treatment, who have suffered years of trauma and abuse and there is no statute of limitations on that emotional trauma, so we have an obligation, we have a responsibility as legislators to provide protections,” Katie Muth, Senator in the 44th Distirict in Pennsylvania, said.

The bill they’re proposing would change the current state statute of limitations, allowing people to file charges against someone, after the age of 30.

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