Ex-Delaware pediatrician guilty of child sex abuse

Ex-Delaware pediatrician guilty of child sex abuse

June 23rd, 2011 by Associated Press in Local - Breaking News

FILE - In this Dec. 18, 2009 photo, a Delaware State Police detective escorts Dr. Earl B. Bradley in Georgetown, Del. From the outside, Bradley's office looked like a fun place to visit: a merry-go-round and miniature Ferris wheel twirled in the yard, a statue of Buzz Lightyear perched on the roof and a purple hippo swung from a sign. Prosecutors say the doctor's office complex nestled up against heavily traveled U.S. 1 in Lewes wasn't an amusement park, but a chamber of horrors where Bradley sexually abused scores of mostly female patients. Authorities say he videotaped some of the abuse in exam rooms decorated with artwork from the Disney films "Pinocchio" and "The Little Mermaid." Bradley faces hundreds of charges when he goes on trial Wednesday, June 1, 2011, in Georgetown, Del. (AP Photo/Gary Emeigh, The News Journal)

RANDALL CHASE, Associated Press

GEORGETOWN, Del. - A former Delaware pediatrician was found guilty Thursday of sexually assaulting scores of young patients at his office, which was decked out with a merry-go-round and a small Ferris wheel.

Prosecutors said Earl Bradley, 58, took homemade videos of the abuse. He was found guilty of all 24 counts, including 14 counts of rape. He will be sentenced Aug. 26 and could be sentenced to life in prison on each of those counts.

He showed no visible reaction when the verdict was announced, but some of the spectators cried.

Superior Court Judge William Carpenter Jr. presided over a one-day trial in which prosecutors called two witnesses and presented more than 13 hours of videos to the judge showing sex crimes against 86 victims, most of whom were toddlers. The videos were from December 1998 to Dec. 13, 2009, just days before Bradley was arrested after a 2-year-old girl told her mother the doctor hurt her at his office.

Bradley's defense attorneys opted for the quick trial so they could appeal the judge's decision allowing the videos to be used as evidence.

Bradley's arrest followed previous police investigations and years of suspicions among parents. His colleagues also questioned his strange behavior.

Since his arrest, reviews have found that state medical society officials, individual doctors and the Delaware Department of Justice violated state law by not reporting possible unprofessional behavior to the medical licensing board. The board itself was criticized for failing to act on information it did receive about Bradley.

Gov. Jack Markell signed nine bills about a year ago prompted by the Bradley case that tightened regulation of doctors and clarified the obligations of the medical and law-enforcement communities to report and communicate about suspected physician misconduct and child abuse.

The judge has a gag order in place for attorneys and others involved in the case.