Sun, Dec 27, 2009
Police investigators are digging through a mountain of evidence in the case of Lewes pediatrician Dr. Earl Bradley, evidence that law enforcement officials said could reveal more than 100 victims.
Attorney General Joseph “Beau” Biden III outlined progress in the case and announced resources available to help victims and potential victims.
“The Department of Justice, working with our law enforcement partners, has done and continues to do everything in its power to pursue this case to the fullest extent of the criminal justice system,” Biden said. “We will use every resource necessary to continue to conduct a methodical and deliberate investigation.”
Biden said the investigation is ongoing and all victims may not yet be identified. He said police and law enforcement would move with all diligent speed but would also not compromise the integrity of the case.
Bradley’s preliminary hearing has been continued until 8:30 a.m., Thursday, Jan. 14, at the Court of Common Pleas in Georgetown.
Biden said the hearing, scheduled Wednesday, Dec. 23, was continued at the request of Bradley’s attorney, Gene Maurer of Wilmington, an attorney whose former clients include convicted murderer Thomas Capano. Deputy Attorney General Stacy Cohee said prison officials did not transport Bradley on Dec. 23 because of concerns about his mental health, including possible suicide.
Alexis Slutsky, head of the Delaware Child Predator Unit, said so much evidence was seized from Bradley’s offices and home that there is almost no way to know how many victims there may be. She said there could potentially be over 100 victims over a period of 11 years, from 1998 to 2009. Bradley began practicing in Lewes in 1995 and has held licenses in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Florida. Cohee said law enforcement officials are still looking into any cases Bradley may have in those states.
Police started investigating Bradley a year ago after receiving complaints. However, he was not arrested because police did not have enough evidence to charge him with a crime.
When asked why law enforcement did not move on Bradley sooner, Bob Moses of the Child Predator Unit said, “We have to proceed based upon the guidelines of the law. We did that throughout this investigation. It’s been a very tough case for us to bring to the point it is now. We had the evidence; we acted swiftly when we could.”
Cohee said cases such as this are very difficult because there are usually no witnesses and no physical evidence.
“It takes time. It takes time to develop a case,” she said.
Cohee said the preliminary hearing is to determine whether the state has enough evidence to hold him in jail. She said the hearing could be waived if Bradley’s attorney agrees the state has enough evidence. The case will eventually be tried in Superior Court, she said.
Bradley has been charged with 33 felonies involving seven victims. The charges include eight counts of first-degree rape of a victim less than 16 years of age, four counts of second-degree rape with a victim less than 16 years old, 14 counts of sexual exploitation of a child by photo or film and endangering the welfare of a child.
Bradley is being held at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna, in lieu of $2.9 million cash bail. Bradley had been bailed out after initial charges were filed Dec. 16, but he turned himself in when new charges were filed Friday, Dec. 18.
“He is no longer a threat to our children and to our community and to this county,” Biden said.
Parents concerned their child may be a victim or who have information relating to victims of Bradley, can call the Delaware State Police, 856-5850 Ext. 216. Victims in need of counseling – or nonvictim members of the public seeking assistance – can call the Victim Services Hotline, 800-842-8461.
An email line is also available at firstname.lastname@example.org. Those writing via email should include contact information. Patients of Bradley looking to retrieve copies of medical records can call Beebe Medical Center records department at 302-645-3281.
Support for victims
If you believe your child was a victim of Dr. Earl Bradley, call the Delaware State Police at 302-856-5850, Ext. 216.
Anyone who needs counseling as a result of the Bradley arrest – even those who are not victims – can call the state police victim services unit at 1-800-VICTIM-1.
Other counseling services: Children’s Advocacy Center cacofde.org Sussex County office: 854-0323
Survivors Of Abuse and Recovery: soarinc.com - Sussex County office: 645-4903
People’s Place: peoplesplace2.com - Milford office: 302-422-8026