Charges filed against Lewes doctor

Lewes pediatrician Dr. Earl B. Bradley was charged with an additional 24 charges on Friday, Dec. 18, after turning himself in to Delaware State Police Troop 4 detectives on that morning. Police said more alleged victims have been identified in their investigation of alleged rape and exploitation of children, but they emphasized that it was still too early to determine the exact number of victims allegedly involved in incidents with Bradley.

As of Dec. 18, Bradley’s total charges consisted of eight counts of Rape 1st with a victim less than 16 years of age (felonies), three counts of Rape 2nd with a victim less than 16 years of age (felonies), 14 counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Child by Photo or Film (felonies) and endangering the Welfare of a Child (a felony).

Police said the incidents involved in the charges took place between August and December of 2009 at Bradley’s Lewes practice, Baybees Pediatrics, located at 18259 Coastal Highway in Lewes.

Bradley was arraigned at Delaware Justice of the Peace Court 3 in Georgetown last Friday and was committed to Sussex Correction Institute in lieu of $2.9 million cash bail.

The Delaware State Police on Wednesday, Dec. 16, reported that DSP Troop 4 detectives were investigating Bradley in reference to charges of unlawful sexual contact.

Police said Bradley has been the focus of a year-long investigation by detectives involving multiple victims and that the initial charges against Bradley stemmed from an incident that took place between late October and early December of this year, involving a 2-year-old female victim.

Charges were filed against Bradley late Tuesday night, police said, after the victim of that incident was interviewed by state officials. Troop 4 detectives placed Bradley in custody at his residence early Wednesday morning.

Police said detectives also conducted a search warrant at Bradley’s office on Coastal Highway in Lewes. Troop 4 detectives removed several computers and medical files from Bradley’s office while conducting the search warrant, they said. Court documents in the case have been reported to indicate that Bradley allegedly filmed and/or videotaped the alleged sexual assaults on children. Reports indicated at least some of the alleged assaults may have taken place in a room in Bradley’s that he used to hand out toys to his patients.

Bradley was initially charged with Rape 2nd (a felony), Unlawful Sexual Contact 1st (a felony) and Endangering the Welfare of a Child (a felony) in the initial case.

No additional information was made available by police, so as not compromise the continuing investigation, they said.

Parents of children who wish to contact investigators about Bradley can contact Troop 4 detectives at (302) 586-5850, ext. 216.

State officials noted on Friday that the Delaware Department of Justice is actively participating in the investigation involving Bradley.

“We are devoting all of the resources at our disposal to this ongoing investigation,” they said. “We urge parents of patients, regardless of the age of the child, or former patients of Dr. Bradley to come forward and provide information or report suspicious activity to this number.”

The Delaware Department of Justice provides specialized services to victims of crime and their families through its Victim Services Unit, officials noted.

“In cases involving young victims its specially-trained social workers and victim services specialists, along with prosecutors and other staff, work with parents of child victims so that they can provide the most appropriate care and support. This staff also works to inform parents about the impact of victimization on children, to educate them about the criminal justice system, and to connect them to appropriate clinical resources that may provide additional services.”

Delaware State Police emphasized that, during last Wednesday’s search warrant at Bradley’s office located at Baybees Pediatrics, Troop 4 detectives only seized medical records of patients who are involved in the State Police investigation. No other patients’ records were seized during the search warrant, they said.

As of Monday, Dec. 21, all of Bradley’s patient medical records had been seized and were being stored at Beebe Medical Center in Lewes, state police noted, saying that the medical center had agreed to take custody of the records until the charges against Bradley are adjudicated.

Parents of children who were patients at the practice may obtain copies only of the records. Beebe Medical Center has agreed to distribute copies of the medical records for free. Any parent needing a copy may call the records department at (302) 645-3281. A 48-hour turn-around time will be required with most requests, they noted.