On June 23, Delaware Superior Court Judge William C. Carpenter Jr. found former Lewes pediatrician Earl Bradley guilty on all 24 counts against him — 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.
More than a dozen Department of Corrections officers escorted Bradley into the courtroom with shackled feet, while two Delaware State Police officers and four bailiffs looked on. Approximately 80 people, including Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, sat in the gallery while the judge read his verdict. A closed-circuit video feed was sent to a separate room in the courthouse, where many of the family members of the victims watched Carpenter read the verdict.
“After reviewing all of the evidence, including the videos, in reference to each count of Rape in the First Degree, the Court finds that the state has met its burden [of proof],” Carpenter said. “Therefore, the Court finds the defendant guilty of these 14 counts.”
Bradley, who wore a gray DoC jumpsuit, kept his head down and showed no emotion while Carpenter spoke.
In his verdict, Carpenter stated that he had found Bradley guilty of all 14 charges of rape and that he had intentionally had sexual intercourse with the victims, none of which had reached their 18 birthday and that he “stood in a position of trust, authority or supervision over the child.”
Bradley had originally been indicted on 371 counts, but they were consolidated on June 7 during the day-long trial.
During the trial, only two witnesses were called by Deputy Attorney General Paula Ryan. The state’s principal witness was Detective Scott Garland of the Delaware State Police’s High Technology Crimes Unit.
Garland had testified to having watched more than 13 hours of video recorded by Bradley of his crimes involving 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.
He had also testified that the videos showed Bradley forcibly raping a number of children, some of whom were raped on more than one occasion. They also showed him forcing young children to perform oral sex on him, to the point of some children 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.”
Both the defense and prosecution waived their right to closing arguments.
Bradley’s attorney, Public Defender Dean Johnson, was unable to comment on the verdict due to the court-imposed gag order but said that Bradley “was pretty quiet today… Nothing remarkable.” It is expected that the defense will appeal the Court’s decision.
When asked to comment on the verdict, Biden reiterated, “The gag order is still in effect.”
Carpenter ordered a pre-sentence investigation to be conducted, with sentencing scheduled for Aug. 26. Bradley faces a possible sentence of life in prison.