Delaware Doctor Faces More Child Rape Charges
WILMINGTON, Del. - Prosecutors on Monday charged former pediatrician Earl B. Bradley with 58 new counts of rape or sexual abuse of girls he treated.
The anticipated second indictment of Bradley - the first was in February - was returned by a Sussex County grand jury and lists 24 girls as victims.
The new indictment was based on interviews of patients and their parents. Some of the girls were among the 103 victims specified in the earlier 471-count indictment that was based on video recordings Bradley allegedly made of attacks, Attorney General Beau Biden and chief county prosecutor Paula J. Ryan said during a news conference Monday afternoon.
Because of the difficulty of identifying the child victims from the recordings, Biden and Ryan said, they do not know how many are included in both indictments. Efforts to identify victims are ongoing, the prosecutors said.
"This is the next step in our continuing efforts to hold Bradley accountable for his actions," Biden said.
Ryan said the new indictment will progress on a separate track from the previous indictment, and it's possible Bradley could face two trials. Bradley, who was arraigned last month and pleaded not guilty to the charges in the first indictment, will face a new arraignment for the latest charges, Ryan said.
Delaware Public Defender Brendan O'Neill, whose taxpayer-funded state agency has been representing Bradley since his private attorneys quit the case last month, would not comment on the new charges Monday.
Bradley, 56, faces charges that, if proved, would rank him among history's worst pedophiles. He was initially charged in December with raping one 2-year-old girl, and days later, the number of victims was increased to nine. Subsequent charges in February said there were 102 girls and one boy whose attacks were recorded. In court records, police have said the recordings were found on digital files seized from Bradley's office, where he had set up video cameras.
The new indictment stems from police interviews of patients at the county's Children's Advocacy Center, a nonprofit agency that counsels victims of child abuse. Charges mirror those in the first indictment: first- and second-degree rape, first- and second-degree unlawful sexual contact, continuous sexual abuse of a child and sexual exploitation of a child.
In February's indictment, prosecutors wrote that five children appeared to lose consciousness or stop breathing during Bradley's attacks. In court records, police who watched the recordings said Bradley forced girls as young as 3 months old to engage in intercourse and oral sex. In some recordings, police wrote, Bradley shouted commands at victims, and in one he had a "violently enraged" expression on his face.
Bradley, who ran Disney-themed BayBees Pediatrics near Lewes, Del., and once had an office in Milford, is being held in lieu of $4.7 million bail at Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna.
Before Bradley was arrested, four investigations into the way the doctor treated girls dating back to 1996 failed to lead to any discipline.
Police investigations into allegations of improper kissing in 2005 and inappropriate vaginal exams in 2008 did not lead to an arrest. Last week, Beebe Medical Center officials revealed they investigated Bradley in 1996 for inappropriate contact with girls, but cleared him of any wrongdoing. Beebe's chief executive officer, Jeffrey M. Fried, also said Pennsylvania authorities cleared Bradley of a complaint alleging sexual misconduct in 1994. Bradley came to Delaware and was hired by Beebe late in 1994.
Biden also said Monday that his office is wrapping up its investigation into why no one reported Bradley to Delaware's Board of Medical Practice, which licenses and disciplines physicians, after the 2005 investigation by Milford police. Under Delaware law, law enforcement and medical professionals are required to report colleagues whom they "reasonably believe may be guilty of unprofessional conduct" to the disciplinary board.
The mother of one victim allegedly abused in 1999 said the attack on her daughter, now 17, is included in the new indictment. The woman, a teacher, said Bradley violated her daughter during an exam when she was 7, and when the mother saw him and objected, Bradley claimed he was examining her hymen.
In 2005, the mother pressed authorities to charge Bradley, to no avail. After he was arrested, she contacted police and told her daughter's story again.
"We've had to fight to make sure she's listed in the indictment. All the kids need to be counted that he molested or hurt. None should be off the list."