Charges mount in Lewes pediatrician case

December 21, 2009

Lewes pediatrician Dr. Earl Bradley is now facing 26 total charges relating to rape and exploitation of minors.

Bradley, 56, turned himself in to Delaware State Police Troop 4 detectives at 8:30 a.m, Friday, Dec. 18, and is being held at Sussex Correctional Institution in Georgetown in lieu of $2.9 million cash bail. A preliminary hearing on the charges is set at the Court of Common Pleas in Georgetown on Wednesday, Dec. 23.

By the end of the day Dec. 18, Bradley, chief pediatrician at BayBees Pediatrics on Route 1, had been charged with eight counts of first-degree rape of a victim less than 16 years old, three counts of second-degree rape of a victim less than 16, 14 counts of sexual exploitation of a child by photo or film and endangering the welfare of a child. All charges are felonies.

Delaware State Police spokesman Cpl. Thomas Guarini said more victims have been identified in the investigation, although it is too early to determine the exact number of victims. The latest charges came after Troop 4 detectives began examining computer files and digital media seized from Bradley’s office.

According to court documents, three videos were found on a USB flash drive, a small, portable hard drive that plugs into a computer, showing Bradley engaging in sexual acts with a 2-year old. The clips appear to have occurred on the morning of Nov. 12.

After viewing these three clips, detectives obtained a second warrant for the forensic examination of all devices previously seized for evidence of child exploitation. Police have viewed at least seven separate videos made by Bradley, ranging in length from 20 to 30 seconds to over 11 minutes long. The victims involved were as young 3 to 6 months and as old as 12, although most of the eight identified victims were 2 to 4 years old. The videos took place over a period of months from Aug. 7 to Dec. 13. Bradley was first arrested Wednesday, Dec. 16.

In most of the videos, Bradley is performing sex acts on the victims, most incidents taking place in the outbuilding in the rear of Bradley’s office. Police say the six-foot, 225-pound Bradley violently assaulted the children, physically and verbally.

Two of the videos took place in examination rooms, including one in which a hidden camera was used. Another video was filmed in the basement, where the original incident that led to Bradley’s arrest took place.

After initial charges were filed Dec. 16, Bradley was released on $36,000 bond. Detectives said they had been investigating Bradley for a year before they were able to gather enough evidence to arrest him. The Delaware Department of Justice said, through a press release, that it is actively participating in the Bradley investigation and is encouraging individuals who have information on the case to call Troop 4 at 856-5850, Ext. 216. The department is also urging parents of patients and former patients of Bradley to come forward and provide information or report suspicious activity.

If your child has been a patient of Dr. Bradley, the Cape Gazette would like to hear your story. Contact either Laura Ritter - or Ryan Mavity - or call 302-645-7700.

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