Sunday, January 10, 2010

PA/DE: Many missed horrors of Dr. Earl Bradley's alleged sex abuse

Excerpt from

By Chris Barrish

January 10, 2010

Despite suspicions, no action was taken

Pediatrician Earl Bradley's strange behavior, especially with the young girls he treated, became known in recent years to many medical professionals, police and prosecutors.

At Beebe Medical Center in Lewes, administrators knew police had investigated him in 2005.

Doctors who worked with him were told by parents of Bradley's former patients that he forced reluctant girls to undress, performed long vaginal exams and took girls alone to get treats. One doctor didn't mince words with police, calling Bradley a pedophile.

Workers in the Lewes and Milford offices of his BayBees Pediatrics knew he kissed, hugged and cuddled girls. An office manager said Bradley took antidepressants from the office and told police she wrote a letter about his problems to the Medical Society of Delaware.

Police had tried since at least 2005 to build a criminal case against Bradley. They documented his questionable behavior and reputation in reports that were not made public until last week about Bradley, 56, who was charged in December with raping nine girls since August -- eight of whom he videotaped. Authorities said there could be 100 victims.

As allegations piled up over nearly five years, though, unaware parents kept sending their girls and boys to his one-man, Disney-themed medical practice, which drew patients from nearby resorts and distant farming towns.

Yet no one in the medical or law enforcement communities did what Delaware law mandates -- put their observations and suspicions in writing to the Delaware Board of Medical Practice, which investigates physician misconduct. Failure to report such behavior, which the law deems an "affirmative duty," can bring a fine of $250 to $5,000.

If even one had followed the law, the 16-member board's medical professionals and lay persons would have had to investigate, and if warranted, discipline him publicly.

Though police said officers questioned Bradley in 2005 about kissing a toddler, he grew bolder and his alleged crimes, many of which he filmed, became brutal.


After his arrest, police searched his office and said they found haunting videotapes of rapes against eight girls on a computer flash drive -- all since August.

In one, he had intercourse with a girl between 2 and 3 who was naked from the waist down, police said. In another, he forced a girl 3 to 6 months old to perform oral sex while the baby "screams and resists.''

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