This week saw new developments in the case of Earl Bradley, and the pain that has been felt in the community in the wake of allegations of child sexual abuse by the Lewes pediatrician has only become more far-reaching.
Earlier this week, Delaware Attorney General Joseph R. “Beau” Biden III announced from the headquarters of the Delaware Child Predator Task Force that the Sussex County Grand Jury had indicted Bradley for the rape and sexual assault of more than 100 child victims over the span of nearly a decade.
“I know that today’s indictment will reopen painful wounds and open new ones for a Lewes and Sussex County community that has been deeply traumatized,” said Biden on Monday, Feb. 22. “As I have said before, we will prosecute this case to the fullest extent of the law. As a prosecutor, I am bound by certain rules that limit what I can say in the midst of an active investigation. ... I am determined to see that this defendant will never, ever be in a position again to hurt another child.”
The indictment alleges that 103 children were victimized by Bradley between 1998 and 2009. The indictment contains 471 counts on charges including Rape 1st Degree, Rape 2nd Degree, Sexual Exploitation of a Child, Unlawful Sexual Contact 1st Degree, Unlawful Sexual Contact 2nd Degree and Reckless Endangering 1st Degree, among others.
If convicted as charged, the 56-year-old Bradley faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. The indictment was based on video evidence seized by law enforcement during the execution of search warrants at the defendant’s home and office back in December.
During the course of the ongoing investigation conducted by the Delaware Department of Justice and accompanied by the Delaware Child Predator Task Force, Delaware State Police and other agencies, substantial evidence was seized and reviewed, including 13 hours of video, computers, hard drives and other digital storage media. More than 7,000 of the defendant’s individual patient files were also seized.
Bradley has been imprisoned on nine counts filed in December, leading to the discovering of the evidence that led to this week’s vastly expanded list of charges. Bradley’s arraignment on the new charges will take place in Delaware Superior Court, in a process that typically takes four to six weeks following an indictment, according to Department of Justice Public Information Officer Jason P. Miller.
Last week, Biden ordered Delaware Department of Justice personnel to begin removing certain items from the outside of Bradley’s Baybees Pediatrics office in Lewes, which included signage and yard toys displayed on the property.
“The community should not be faced with the visual reminder of their pain as they go about their daily lives,” Biden stated about the move. “We hope that removing these outward displays promoting Dr. Bradley’s practice – including toys, figurines, vehicles, a lighted sign and billboard – is a small step in helping the Lewes community begin the healing process.”
Removal and storage of the items from the Baybees property was completed on Wednesday, Feb. 17.
While the visual reminders may have been removed from sight, the emotional, physical and mental impact that has reverberated through the community remains. Biden noted that a team of national experts on child sexual abuse has been assembled to assist parents, victims and community members, and to assist in the investigation.
The Delaware Department of Justice continues to provide services for victims and their families in this case. Parents or caregivers of current or former patients should call the Delaware Department of Justice Lewes community office at (302) 645-4010 from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturdays to request a copy of their child’s pediatric file.
Parents can also visit the Department of Justice office onsite at 105 W. 4th Street to request a copy of their child’s pediatric file, share information about the investigation, and be connected with counseling and other available services. Concerned parents and caretakers can also contact the Delaware State Police 24-hour Victim Services Hotline at 1-800-VICTIM-1 (1-800-842-8461) or send an e-mail to a specially arranged Delaware State Police address, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Delaware Department of Justice recently sent more than 3,000 letters to parents and/or guardians of Bradley’s patients, both recent and former. The letters, provided in both English and Spanish, notify families of the criminal investigation and inform them of victim services that are available. They also ask families to assist investigators in identifying victims and to provide photographs of their children from each year they were a patient of Bradley.
Those with any other information to provide in the case are being urged to call Delaware State Police detectives at (302) 856-5850, ext. 216. Parents of patients or former patients of Bradley, regardless of the age or gender of the child, are being asked to come forward with any information.