Judge falsely accuses men of hitting him with toilet lid outside court to get free painkillersBy Mason White 9:02 AM August 14, 2015
|Roger Barto on floor after reporting the incident|
By: Feng Qian
(Scroll down for video) A judge was found guilty of lying after he reported being chocked and hit by a man in front of the courthouse.
The former judge of the village of Seneca County, New York, has been convicted of falsely claiming that two men attacked him with a toilet lid outside the courthouse.
Roger Barto, 54, was convicted by a jury of insurance fraud, falsifying business records, defrauding the government and falsely reporting an incident.
Barto told police that he was attacked from behind while locking up the village court. Police released the photo of the judge lying on the ground in front of the courthouse after the alleged attack.
Barto said that he was choked and hit over the head with a heavy object. Village police found the broken lid of a toilet tank at the scene.
Evidence at a two-week trial in Seneca County Court, showed that Barto made up the story as a way to get prescription painkillers through a workers’ compensation claim.
District Attorney Barry Porsch said that the jury heard evidence that this was a way for him to get a lifetime supply of painkillers.
After the assault claimed, Barto spent nine days with a pain pump at a Rochester hospital, Porsch said.
Doctors and nurses testified at trial that Barto suffered no external or internal injuries. The hospital stay cost taxpayers $41,500. Barto’s medical records showed that before the incident, he had been on painkillers prescribed for lower back pain.
The State Court of Appeals suspended Barto from the bench as a result of his being indicted. He now faces up to 7 years in prison.