The potential for survivors out there is astronomical.
That’s what attorneys defending the sexual assault victims of Dr. Johnnie Barto said in an interview Wednesday morning.
The former Johnstown pediatrician convicted of molesting children over the course of decades has been sentenced to life in prison.
The California-based law firm Manly, Stewart & Finaldi is representing over 100 victims of Dr. Barto’s sexual assaults.
“Johnstown is such a lovely and beautiful community. At the time, they trusted Dr. Barto. They were in disbelief that this could be true,”
Even though Barto is currently behind bars at SCI Waymart in eastern Pennsylvania, the law firm is pushing for more victims to come forward.
“If you take an average of you treat ten patients a day, you practice five days a week, then you do rounds at local hospitals you can do the math there. It’s astronomical the potential for survivors who are out there,”
Their current lawsuit aimed at the medical facilities Dr. Barto has worked in — goes after six defendants:
Johnstown Pediatric Associates
Laurel Pediatric Associates
Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center
Duke Lifepoint Healthcare
UPMC Lee Hospital
“Every step of the way, we’re asking the hard questions. We’re demanding answers on how did this happen? How did it happen for so long? Who knew what and when? We’re holding every person in every institution accountable for failing to protect children and failing to protect their families,”
Thom says that Dr. Barto’s medical license was revoked back in 2000, deeming that “he was not safe to be around children.”
But after protests and appeals, Dr. Barto’s medical license was reinstated just a few months later.
He spent the next 18 years working with hundreds of children who were just going to see their doctor.
“Dr. Barto continued seeing patients from 2000 all the way in 2018 when again a child spoke up, reported her abuse, and this time police got involved,”
In the meantime, advertisements are popping up on TV and social media, along with arriving in people’s mailboxes.
The law firm is encouraging other abuse survivors to come forward saying that there is still much more work to be done after Barto’s conviction.
We reached out to all of the medical providers who have been sued in this case and have not heard back.