Judge, not jury, will determine fate of Delaware pediatrician charged with sexual abuse

In a hearing that took only about six minutes, a judge has granted a request by former downstate pediatrician Dr. Earl Bradley to waive his right to a jury trial. 

Bradley, who is charged with sexually abusing more than 100 children, answered affirmatively to a series of questions from Judge William Carpenter in New Castle County Superior Court.  The defendant was asked whether it was his desire to have a bench trial instead of a jury trial, whether he had sufficient opportunity to discuss the matter with legal counsel, and that he understood he still had a right to a jury trial and that he could participate in the selection of potential jurors.  Bradley answered “yes” to all of the questions, and had no questions of his own.

Judge Carpenter scheduled the trial to begin June 1st.  The case was moved to New Castle County because of concerns about pre-trial publicity in Sussex and Kent Counties.  Now that jurors will not be needed, Carpenter says he will decide soon whether to hold the trial in Sussex County after all.  Jury selection itself was expected to take several weeks.

Defense attorney Dean Johnson and prosecutor Paula Ryan also consented to Bradley’s request.

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Bradley appeared in court still with long hair, a beard and black-rimmed glasses.  He was dressed in a gray prison jumpsuit. 

Attorney General Beau Biden was in the courtroom for the proceedings.  He and the other lawyers were not able to comment due to a gag order imposed by Judge Carpenter.

Bradley was arrested in December 2009.  Videos that were found at the BayBees Pediatric office in Lewes reportedly showed him molesting children.  The judge decided earlier that those videos could be played in court.

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