Former pediatrician Johnnie Barto sentenced for sexually abusing dozens of children

Update 2:20 p.m. EDT March 18: Former Pennsylvania pediatrician Dr. Johnnie Barto has been sentenced to at least 79 years in prison for sexually assaulting 31 children.

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The Associated Press reported that prosecutors said Barto spent decades abusing children in exam rooms at his pediatric practice and Johnstown, Pennsylvania hospitals.

Barto was sentenced Monday on a number of counts, including child endangerment and aggravated indecent assault.

Credit: Cambria County Prison via AP

Credit: Cambria County Prison via AP

Original report:

A former Pennsylvania pediatrician accused of sexually abusing dozens of children pleaded guilty Thursday to multiple counts of indecent assault and other crimes.

Dr. Johnnie Barto, 71, of Johnstown, was charged in January, March, April and July for abusing minors, including members of his family. His medical license has been suspended, according to The Associated Press.

On Thursday, Barto admitted to sexually assaulting 31 children, most of them patients, the AP reported.

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He pleaded guilty to multiple counts of aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault and endangering the welfare of children, according to the state attorney general's office.

Many of those crimes took place in examination rooms at Cambria County hospitals, authorities said. Victims were children of both sexes, mostly between the ages of 8 and 12, although one victim was a 2-week-old infant.

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“Dr. Johnnie Barto used his position of authority, as the pediatrician who families relied on, to feed his own sick desires and take advantage of parents and children seeking basic health care,” Attorney General Josh Shapiro said.

Barto is set to be sentenced in 90 days.

The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

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