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Alleged phony doctor promising 'miracle cures' is charged

A La Mesa man who allegedly advertised himself as "Dr. Barton" and promised cures for AIDS and cancer has been charged with practicing medicine without a license and other felonies.

Keith Allen Barton, 50, was arraigned Wednesday in San Diego County Superior Court on five felony charges, including practicing without a license, identity theft and grand theft.

Barton, who has the same name as a licensed doctor, had an office in La Mesa and a website promising "naturopathic medicine" treatments and referrals to a clinic in Tijuana for certain medicines. Barton is not a physician, osteopath or neuropath, investigators said.

Dist. Atty. Bonnie Dumanis said a woman paid $18,000 to Barton after he promised to cure her and her children of HIV. One of the children later died, Dumanis said.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Gina Darvas said the case is a reminder that patients "need to be particularly wary of unapproved 'miracle' cures, especially when they are offered by practitioners who run clinics south of the border."

Dumanis and Darvas said they believe there are other victims in the case. Barton remains in jail on $100,000 bail, with a preliminary hearing set for Jan. 23.


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