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Pediatrician with Phila. ties is held in massive abuse case

Del. authorities alleged that Earl Bradley may have attacked 100 or more children in Lewes.

Earl Bradley is escorted into court in Georgetown, Del. He practiced at Knights and Red Lion Roads in the Northeast before moving to Delaware in 1995, a Pennsylvania official said.
Earl Bradley is escorted into court in Georgetown, Del. He practiced at Knights and Red Lion Roads in the Northeast before moving to Delaware in 1995, a Pennsylvania official said.Read more

GEORGETOWN, Del. - A pediatrician charged with sexually abusing patients likely attacked more than 100 children at an office he had decked out with a merry-go-round and a Ferris wheel, a Delaware official said yesterday.

Alexis Slutsky, a deputy attorney general assigned to the state's Child Predator Task Force, said the volume of evidence seized from the home and practice of Earl Bradley, who Pennsylvania officials say once practiced in Northeast Philadelphia, made 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.

The investigation is focusing on cases since 1998, Slutsky said. Authorities are offering counseling and seeking information from parents.

Bradley, 56, was arrested last week and is being held in prison with bail set at $2.9 million. He has been charged with 33 felony counts relating to seven patients. 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 corrections officials were concerned that Bradley could be suicidal.

The case has shocked Lewes, a town of about 3,100 on the Delaware Bay. 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, which were suspended when he was arrested. Pennsylvania's State Board of Medicine also announced a temporary suspension of Bradley's license.

According to a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of State, Bradley received a Pennsylvania medical license in 1984 and practiced at Knights and Red Lion Roads before moving to Delaware in 1995. Bradley graduated from Temple University and did residency at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, the spokesman said.

In Delaware, police say Bradley used video cameras to record some of the attacks. Video tapes and computer files are among the seized evidence.

An 18-page document detailed the alleged attacks in exam rooms at BayBees Pediatrics, Bradley's solo practice. The rooms had Disney themes, such as Pinocchio. A detective who viewed the assaults described in court papers 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," Biden said.

Bradley's office was known for its many toys and the rides he had in front. Yesterday, the deserted office looked more like a small run-down carnival than a pediatric office, including the small merry-go-round and Ferris wheel.

Hudson said the hospital had arranged for counseling for patients and their parents. He also said doctors who already have full practices have arranged to take Bradley's patients, which he estimated "runs in the thousands."

Bradley also had medical licenses in Florida and New Jersey.

The alleged crimes cited in court papers happened between August and December. Police said they had learned of the alleged abuse when a 2-year-old girl told her mother that the doctor had hurt her during a Dec. 7 appointment.