Lewes pediatrician Earl Bradley was found guilty of 24 counts of first-degree rape, second-degree assault and sexual exploitation of a child by Judge William C. Carpenter Jr. Thursday, June 23.
Bradley faced 14 counts of rape, five counts of assault and five counts of sexual exploitation of a child that involved 75 children.
Clad in a gray Department of Correction jumpsuit, Bradley appeared to be following along with a printed copy of the decision as Carpenter quietly read his verdict. Sixteen uniformed correctional officers and several bailiffs stood guard, and thought the courtroom was packed with more than 70 people, there was no audible reaction as the verdict was read.
The proceedings started nearly 20 minutes late, but it took barely 15 minutes for Carpenter to deliver his opinion. Carpenter said on the rape charges, the state had proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Bradley had sexual intercourse with his victims; that the victims had not reached the age of 16; Bradley had stood in a position of trust or authority; and that he acted intentionally.
Carpenter said he had watched the videos that police have said show Bradley sexually abusing child patients, evidence the defense unsuccessfully attempted to have suppressed. On the five counts of sexual exploitation of a child, Carpenter said the prosecution proved that Bradley knowingly photographed or filmed a child in an illegal sexual act.
Immediately following the verdict, defense attorney Dean Johnson walked briskly out of the courthouse with a pack of TV cameras and reporters trailing him. Johnson did not offer any comment on the verdict.
Attorney General Joseph “Beau” Biden III also offered no comment on the verdict, citing a judicial gag order against talking to the media.
Carpenter ordered a presentencing investigation and set a sentencing date of 10 a.m., Friday, Aug. 26, in Sussex County Superior Court in Georgetown. Bradley was initially indicted on more than 500 charges including rape and exploitation of more than 100 children, but at his June 7 trial, the indictment was reduced to 24 counts.
Since his arrest in December 2009, Bradley has been incarcerated at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna.