Sentencing phase in Bradley trial scheduled to begin Friday

The sentencing of former Lewes pediatrician Earl Bradley on child sex-abuse charges is scheduled to begin this Friday, Aug. 26, at the Sussex County Superior Courthouse in Georgetown.

On June 23, Delaware Superior Court Judge William C. Carpenter Jr. found Bradley guilty on all 24 counts against him in a reduced slate of charges — 14 counts of rape in the first-degree, five counts of assault in the second degree and five counts of sexual exploitation of a child. The 24 counts were consolidated from the original indictment of 471 counts.

During the day-long trial on June 7, Deputy District Attorney Paula Ryan only called two witnesses, Delaware State Police Detectives Thomas Elliott and Scott Garland.

Elliott testified that multiple concerns had been voiced about Bradley during his time as a pediatrician. He recounted how one of those complaints had alleged that a young child had been physically restrained during a vaginal examination and another noted that Bradley had vaginally examined a patient who was in his office for a consultation about attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Elliot noted that the Milford Police Department had been investigating a similar complaint against Bradley when he was arrested in 2009.

Garland testified to having watched more than 13 hours of video footage of a man, whom he identified as Bradley, assaulting young children, who averaged just 3.08 years old.

“There does appear to be a preference for toddlers,” Garland had said, noting that the forced attacks were on those who had extremely limited verbal skills.

Garland said that Bradley would also use hidden cameras in pens to record his abuse during examinations, sometimes while parents were in the room.

He went on to testify that there were videos of Bradley forcibly raping a number of children, some multiple times. Garland added that in some instances he could see blood produced from the children’s mouths or even witness them losing consciousness.

“The violence we were seeing was significant. In fact, I was not prepared for it,” said Garland during his testimony. “It is a violent, brutal, forced attack.”

Bradley, who waived his right to a trial by jury, also waived his right to testify during the trial. Public Defender Dean Johnson did not call any witnesses or cross-examine defense witnesses. Both the prosecution and defense waived their right to closing arguments.

It is expected that Bradley will appeal Carpenter’s decision and argue that the videotapes seized by police and used as evidence in the case were seized illegally.

Bradley faces a possible life sentence in prison.