Pennsylvania pediatrician Dr. Johnnie Wilson “Jack” Barto, 70, was arrested in January on charges of molesting a 12-year-old female patient.
Since then, dozens of additional victims have come forward. And on Monday, Barto was charged with assaulting 29 additional children, CBS News reports.
In a statement following the charges, Attorney General Josh Shapiro said:
“Every parent sends their child to a pediatrician to make sure they are healthy and getting the care they need. Barto used his position of authority as a pediatrician … and abused it to feed his own, sick sexual desires.”
The alleged assaults date from the 1980s to January of this year. Police said that victims were both male and female.Cambria County Jail
One child was as young as two weeks old, authorities said.
They believe Barto waited until parents left the room during appointments to commit the assaults.
In one incident, a mother walked in on Barto fondling her 12-year-old son’s genitals after he came in for flu treatment. She said he didn’t respond when confronted.
The pediatrician currently faces charges of indecent assault, aggravated indecent assault, and child endangerment. If convicted, he may be imprisoned for life.
Because Barto’s crimes stretch back decades, police are asking any additional victims to come forward. Shapiro said:
“It takes victims, oftentimes, a long time to come to grips with what happened, for them to have confidence that someone will believe their truth and to come forward and share what happened. That’s very normal and that’s not something that victims should ever be criticized about. No one should fear coming forward. Share that information with us.”
Barto was accused of sexually assaulting two female patients in 1998, but the case was dropped due to lack of evidence. His medical license was revoked after his arrest in January.
He is currently being held on $1 million bond.