A paediatrician has been charged with sexually assaulting 103 of his child patients a total of 471 times, some being as young as 6 months old. Investigators have identified over 3,000 possible victims.
56-year-old paediatrician Dr. Earl B. Bradley’s Delaware practice was known for a child-friendly atmosphere, being festooned with toys, but this concealed the sordid abuse of at least a hundred patients.
After a female patient reported his abuse, investigators rapidly uncovered evidence leading to 471 charges of sexual assault on 103 children, with prosecutors investigating a total of 3,000 possible victims and expecting to add many more charges.
Charges already include first degree rape, sexual exploitation of a child, first degree unlawful sexual contact, continued sexual abuse of a child, second degree assault and first degree reckless endangerment.
He recorded much of his activity in some 13 hours of video recordings dating back to 1998. These recordings showed him molesting and raping the young girls he was supposed be treating, as well as one young boy.
One recording was made mere days before his December arrest, and showed a female toddler screaming and running away from him.
Authorities fear his crimes may make him one of the worst medical criminals in history, being to sex crimes what Harold Shipman is to murder.
Just how he eluded detection for so long will doubtless be a matter of no small inquiry – public hysteria normally focuses on strangers as being the primary danger to children, but statistics seem to indicate trusted adults in positions of authority over children, whether relatives, teachers, doctors or priests, apparently pose a far greater threat than any lollipop bearing old man.
If convicted, the doctor faces life imprisonment without possibility of parole. His medical license has already been revoked.
His defence intends to argue that he is insane, dryly remarking that “It’s kind of hard to argue with videotapes.”