Thu, Jan 21, 2010
The Delaware Department of Justice has filed a civil racketeering lawsuit against Lewes pediatrician Dr. Earl Bradley in Sussex County Superior Court.
The suit is an attempt by the state to help victims by preserving Bradley’s assets. The state’s civil racketeering statute allows the attorney general to put a lien against and forfeit a defendant’s assets, including property that has been sold or moved out of state.
Attorney General Joseph “Beau” Biden III said, “We filed a civil racketeering lawsuit against Dr. Bradley and his business in order to preserve his assets, and ultimately to seize them for the victims. We are acting aggressively to use all of the tools and resources at our disposal to continue the investigation and serve victims.”
Bradley has already been sued in New Castle County, and more lawsuits could be just around the corner.
Officials in unmarked cars and wagons from the Delaware State Police were at Bradley’s Lewes office Thursday, Jan. 21. Police spokesman Lt. Walter Newton said police were following up on the ongoing investigation. Biden said the state’s action was not a reaction to civil charges but was done to preserve Bradley’s assets for any victim in the case.
He said the state could ask for a stay of civil action against Bradley while the criminal case proceeds. Biden said the racketeering statute comes into play when someone uses a business to perpetrate a crime. He did not elaborate on Bradley’s assets, other than to say they are wide-ranging.
The difference between a criminal case and a civil lawsuit is that civil defendants who ae found guilty typically pay restitution to the plaintiff. In a criminal case, a defendant can face a fine or incarceration, among other penalties.
Bradley faces life in prison on more than 30 felony charges of rape and exploitation of young children.
Bradley saw patients at his BayBees Pediatrics practice on Route 1 in Lewes until his arrest on Dec. 16. He is currently being held on $2.9 million cash bond. The case is expected to go before a Sussex County grand jury.