When reading about the case of Dr. Earl Bradley, it is difficult at first to truly accept the horror of what you are reading.
As a pediatrician serving the close knit community of Lewes, Delaware, a town of just 3,100 along the Delaware coast, the 56-year-old Dr. Bradley was well known around town for the rides and toys he kept in his office to provide a comfortable experience for his young patients. The inhabitants of Lewes are now experiencing a deep sense of shock, because it now turns out that the doctor perhaps best known for the merry-go-round in front of his office may have sexually molested dozens of children.
Some of his alleged victims were no more than six months old.
With the body of evidence mounting against Bradley, it is difficult to estimate just how many children he may have assaulted. Videos and computer files seized from the pediatrician’s home indicate a potentially staggering number of victims. In evaluating the files, police have already discovered at least 15 unidentified victims.
“I’m comfortable in saying probably well over 100 potential victims,” Alexis Slutsky, a deputy attorney general assigned to the state’s Child Predator Task Force, said during a news conference with law enforcement officials.
Police have said that Bradley recorded some of his attacks to video. Officers have been working through these videos to document the attacks, creating an 18 page detailed account of what they have viewed.
One detective who described the assault he witnessed in the court’s papers spoke of a chilling scene in a Disney themed exam room where the 6 foot tall, 255 pound Bradley had a “violently enraged expression on his face” during an incident involving a two year old victim.
“It’s horrific,” said Wallace Hudson, vice president of Beebe Medical Center near Bradley’s home. Bradley’s privileges at the hospital have, naturally, been suspended since his arrest. The hospital has also begun arrangements to offer counseling for Bradley’s many patients.
Bradley has been in the Lewes community since 1994. He also has medical licenses in Florida and New Jersey, which police have said they are investigating. The cases which the police are currently pursuing took place between 1998 and the present. The police continue to follow leads aggressively in this case.
Bradley was arrested last month. He is being held on a 2.9 million dollar bond for his alleged assaults – which currently include 33 felony counts and seven separate victims. Preliminary hearings have been delayed until January 14, which Bradley’s lawyer has declined to comment on.
Corrections officials have voiced concern over Bradley’s mental state, including concerns that he may possibly be suicidal.
Now, Bradley’s office is closed and empty, all of the toys and rides, the childish decorations and humor, serving to make it all the more a sad reminder of what may have happened there. Residents are left still struggling with the shock that these assaults have forced into their lives.
Investigations began after one of Bradley’s two year old patients complained that her doctor had hurt her during a December 7 appointment.