Series of bills aimed at stopping child abuse by medical professionals from tougher penalties to stronger oversight.
Delaware’s Governor, Attorney-General, and state legislators from both parties have put together legislation they hope will stop future pedophile cases such as the one pending against Earl Bradley, a pediatrician from Lewes accused of abusing 103 of his patients.
The seven new bills have grown out of two reports, one from Attorney General Beau Biden’s office. The other an independent review by Widener University Law Dean Linda Ammons. Both reports criticized the medical review board as an agency people could turn to in order to report suspected abuse and called for reform. One proposed bill would add two members to that board.
New fines would be created including a $10,000 fine for a first offense and up to $50,000 for a repeat offender. Fines would also be set at $10,000 for any person who knew of potential abuse and failed to report the incident in question. An adult would have to be in the room with any doctor treating a patient 15 years or younger.
Legislators of both parties and in both chambers agree the need to pass legislation is critical before the current legislative session ends at the end of June.
A Sussex County grand jury indicted Bradley on 471 criminal counts against 103 alleged victims. The Ammons report revealed there were several instances where abuse was suspected, but several agencies did not act on the reports.
One of the aftermath of the Bradley case is the shaking of trust as was documented on a recent broadcast of First.