GEORGETOWN, Del. - A Delaware official said yesterday that there could be more than 100 potential victims of a pediatrician charged with sexually abusing patients, and authorities are offering counseling and seeking help from parents in the investigation.
Alexis Slutsky, a deputy attorney general assigned to the state's Child Predator Task Force, said that the volume of evidence seized from Dr. Earl Bradley's practice and home, including video tapes and computer files, makes it difficult to estimate the number of victims.
"I'm comfortable in saying probably well over 100 potential victims," she said at a news conference with Attorney General Beau Biden and other law-enforcement officials.
Slutsky said that the investigation is focusing on cases between 1998 and the present.
Bradley, 56, was arrested last week and was being held in prison on $2.9 million bond. He has been charged with 33 felony counts relating to seven victims. A preliminary hearing yesterday was postponed until Jan. 14. His attorney, Eugene Maurer, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
Stacy Cohee, a deputy attorney general, said that Bradley had not been brought to the courthouse for yesterday's hearing because corrections officials were "concerned about his mental state right now," adding that there were concerns that he is suicidal.
The case has shocked the close-knit community of Lewes, a town of about 3,100 on the Delaware coast. The case is even more chilling because some alleged victims are no more than 6 months old.
"It's horrific," said Wallace Hudson, vice president of Beebe Medical Center, just blocks from Bradley's home. Bradley had privileges at the hospital, but they were immediately suspended when he was arrested. Pennsylvania's Board of Medicine also announced an immediate temporary suspension of Bradley's license there.
Police said Bradley used video cameras to record some of the attacks.
An 18-page document detailed the alleged attacks in exam rooms, which had Disney themes such as Pinocchio, at BayBees Pediatrics, Bradley's solo practice. In court papers, a detective who viewed the assaults described the 6-foot, 225-pound Bradley as having a "violently enraged expression on his face" in one video involving a 2-year-old.
"As of this moment, we have not identified all of the victims in this case, and the investigation is ongoing in an aggressive fashion," Attorney General Biden said.
Hudson said that Bradley had been in the area since 1994. He said the hospital has arranged for counseling for patients and their parents. He also said doctors who already have full practices have arranged to take Bradley's patients, whom he estimated to be "in the thousands."