CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Attorneys representing five former patients announced today that a lawsuit was filed against Conemaugh Health Systems, Laurel Pediatrics, and former Johnstown Pediatrician Dr. Johnnie Barto.
These are the first lawsuits filed against Barto, 71, since he was convicted of 69 counts of endangering the welfare of children, indecent assault, and aggravated indecent assault. He was sentenced in March to 79 to 158 years in prison.
There will be a news conference on Wednesday, May 15 at 10 a.m. at the Cambria County Courthouse in Ebensburg, where several of Barto’s victims will speak to the community.
Barto’s abuse spanned four decades and involved children between the ages of 8 and 12. According to prosecutors, one of the victims was 2 weeks old.
Barto allegedly molested and groped children in the examination room at Laurel Pediatric Associates in Cambria County and at local hospitals in the area owned by Conemaugh Health Systems.
Barto was employed by Laurel Pediatric Associates and Conemaugh Health Systems at the time of the abuse, and according to the lawsuit, they knew of his history of sexual misconduct allegations and complaints of sexual misconduct with children.