Delaware pediatrician gets life in prison

A former Delaware pediatrician has received a life prison sentence in one of the nation’s worst cases of child sexual abuse – but, his appeal is just beginning.

Earl Bradley stood quietly and showed no emotion as Judge William Carpenter sentenced him Friday in Georgetown to 14 life sentences for 14 counts of first-degree rape.

Bradley was also sentenced to 165 years for multiple counts of assault and continuous sexual exploitation of a child.

The 58-year-old Bradley was found guilty following a one-day trial in June at which his defense presented no case.  His attorneys are basing their client’s fate on appeals at which they will contend that videotapes of the assaults committed by Bradley – and recorded by him – were seized from his Lewes property without the proper warrants.

Sussex County prosecutor Paula Ryan stated prior to the sentencing that “no amount of jail time will be sufficient to address the damage” Bradley had done to his victims, their families and the community.

“Earl Bradley committed unspeakable acts upon children who could not speak for themselves,” Ryan said.

“You have shamed your profession,” Judge William Carpenter told Bradley as he imposed the sentences that will keep him behind bars for the rest of his life without the possibility of ever being released.   “You will never be called ‘doctor’ again.”

Bradley was arrested in Dec. 2009 after a 2-year-old girl complained to her mother after an office visit that the doctor had hurt her.

“Our first priority was to ensure that Earl Bradley would not walk out of prison during his lifetime, and today’s sentence means he will never again hurt a child,” Attorney General Beau Biden said.  He added that his office continues to reach out to victims and their families.  “We’re going to continue to make sure we do everything we can to provide for them and their families – anything they need – as they go about dealing with this tragedy.”

Bradley’s attorney Dean Johnson said the sentence was expected.  He described Bradley as “fairly steady emotionally throughout the whole proceedings over the last year and a half.”

Johnson also said Bradley actively participates in researching the basis for suppression of the videotapes.  “He is placing great stock in the appeal,” Johnson added.

Although Bradley has not expressed remorse in public, Johnson said the former pediatrician has shown remorse in private. 

“It’s a horrible situation for everyone – for his family and for him,” Johnson added.

In addition to the time in prison, Bradley was ordered to have no contact with his victims or their families, must submit to HIV and DNA testing, and must have no contact with any children under 18.  He is also prohibited from possessing any publications or photographs that depict children under age 18.  Bradley is required to make reimbursement totaling $66,528 to the Victims’ Compensation Assistance Program, the amount the program has paid out to victims.

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