Sunday 24 September 2017

Doctor faces 471 sex abuse charges

Dean Gray in Washington

An American paediatrician is facing nearly 500 charges of child sex abuse in one of the worst cases in the country's history.

It took more than 13 hours to document all 103 of Dr Earl Bradley's alleged victims from video recordings found at his office and home in Lewes, Delaware.

Lawyer General Beau Biden said: "These were crimes committed against the most vulnerable among us -- those without voices."

He said that while there have been other cases around the Unites States involving multiple victims, "I know of no other that has this many victims".

The 471 charges against Dr Bradley include rape, sexual exploitation of a child, unlawful sexual contact, continuous sexual abuse of a child, assault and reckless endangering.

Dr Bradley, who was arrested in December and initially charged with 29 counts for allegedly abusing nine children, is being held with bail set at $2.9m (€2.1m).

His medical licence was permanently revoked by the state last week.

Dr Bradley's lawyer, Eugene Maurer, said he had not read the charges but was not surprised by the allegations.

Conviction

"I'm sure they have their reasons for including all these different victims in this indictment," said Mr Maurer, noting that under state law, a single conviction of rape would be enough to put Dr Bradley behind bars for life.

Mr Maurer added that the "real battleground" in the case will be Bradley's mental state, not what is seen on the videotapes or alleged in the charges.

Dr Bradley is accused of taping his exploitation of patients as far back as December 1998.

Many victims were assaulted repeatedly, some on consecutive days and one girl was raped more than a dozen times.

Mr Biden encouraged parents and victims of Dr Bradley, "regardless of age or gender," to contact prosecutors, who have sent out about 3,100 letters to Dr Bradley's patients and set up an office to handle complaints and direct potential victims and their families to counselling.

"I know that today's indictment will re-open painful wounds," he said.

After years of suspicions among parents and questions about his strange behaviour, Dr Bradley was arrested after a two-year-old girl told her mother that the doctor hurt her in December when he took her to a basement room after an exam.

Irish Independent

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