Dr. Earl Bradley, pediatrician, is charged with raping or abusing more than 103 young victims, including babies. Police have discovered videos of dozens of brutal attacks by the doctor. State legislators, long reluctant to tamper with oversight of doctors, swiftly revamped Delaware’s child protection and medical disciplinary laws after investigators revealed law enforcement and medical authorities had failed to take any action against Bradley, despite repeated complaints about him over a 15-year span. Parents had filed more than three dozen lawsuits for not stopping a man now accused of being one of the worst pedophiles in American history. Bradley’s accusers will have a chance to face him in criminal court, beginning Wednesday, 18 months after his arrest.
The trial, however, is expected to be a brief proceeding before a judge, not a months-long, emotional spectacle before jurors who would have had to endure the videos that police contend show Bradley, his face contorted in anger, forcing intercourse and oral sex on petrified victims as young as 3 months old. Bradley faces 529 counts of rape and related charged dating to 1998. With such a quick trial, which could be anywhere from hours to several days, prosecutors would get their guilty verdict and life sentence. Then the defense could move to an appeal, which would allow the videos as evidence. Should Bradley win an appeal with the Delaware Supreme Court or federal court system, he could get a new trial, which would leave the attorney general with a harder case that would rely not on graphic videos, but on the testimony of child victims, some of whom were allegedly abused several years ago.