Feature

'America's worst pedophile'?

Dr. Earl Bradley, a Delaware pediatrician, allegedly abused more than 100 children — here's what's known about this shocking case

Delaware pediatrician Earl Bradley — indicted this week for abusing 103 of his young patients in his office — is being called the worst pedophile in U.S. history. Horrified parents and medical professionals across the country are demanding to know how Bradley, who videotaped his sexual abuses, got away with his alleged crimes for at least a decade, despite a number of red flags that went unheeded. (Watch a CBS report about Delaware's pediatric pedophile.) A fact sheet on the case that's shocked Delaware and the nation:

Who is Earl Bradley?
Dr. Earl Bradley, who was arrested in December, is a 56-year-old pediatrician. He stands 6 feet tall and weighs 225 pounds. At present, little else is known about his private life. (Check back for details as they arrive.)

Where did he practice?
At the BayBees pediatric practice in Lewes, Delaware — an office known for its "carnival-like" decorations, including a "Disney-themed" examination room, a ferris wheel, and VW Beetle cars "scattered across the grounds."

Where else has he practiced?
He was previously a doctor in Pennsylvania, and also holds medical licenses in Florida and New Jersey, where local police are also conducting investigations into Bradley's past.

How many victims are there?
Bradley's initial arrest in December involved nine child patients. That count has risen to 103 victims — a figure authorities expect could go higher yet — as authorities uncovered more evidence and more victims stepped forward.

When did these acts take place?
Between 1998 and 2009, but the "vast majority" took place since 2007.

Who were the victims?
The victims ranged from babies of just six months to 13-year-olds. All but one are female.

How was he caught?
A 2-year-old complained to her mother that Bradley had "hurt her" when he took her to a basement room in his practice during an exam, and the woman informed the police.

How did the evidence of all his victims emerge?
A subsequent police search of his properties found "more than 13 hours" of video documenting his crimes. When the Delaware attorney general's office set up a help line to encourage other victims to come forward, it was "swamped" with calls.

Were there warning signs?
Yes. Bradley was reported to the police in 2005 for "inappropriately kissing a 3-year-old patient." Dr. Bradley's office manager, his sister Linda Barnes, claims she passed on other patient complaints to the Medical Society of Delaware in 2005. Then, in 2008, three parents complained to the police of "inappropriate vaginal exams."

Why wasn't anything done?
The 2005 abuse allegation went nowhere after the Delaware attorney general's office decided it lacked sufficient evidence to charge Bradley. The Medical Society of Delaware says it has no records of complaints made against the doctor. And the 2008 charges were dropped after an unidendtified Superior Court judge declined to authorize a search warrant.

Isn't this a massive failing on the state of Delaware's part?

Beau Biden, the state's current attorney general (and Vice-President Joe Biden's son) has ordered a "thorough examination" of the state's operations from 2005 onward to see if anyone failed to pursue complaints against Bradley. Delaware Gov. Jack Markell has also ordered an independent review.

What has Bradley been charged with?
Bradley has been indicted on 471 charges of sexual crimes including rape, sexual assault, and sexual exploitation of a child. If convicted, he can expect a lifetime in jail with no possibility of parole.

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SEE THE WEEK'S RELATED COVERAGE:
Australia's pedophile scandal
Mistaking bathtime photos for child pornography
Tiger doctor's doping 'scandal'

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