GEORGETOWN, Del. - The trial of a former Delaware pediatrician charged with sexually assaulting scores of patients over more than a decade began and ended yesterday with prosecutors calling two police officers to testify and the defense presenting no case.
Sussex County Superior Judge William Carpenter Jr., who presided over a brief bench trial after Earl Bradley waived his right to a jury trial, said he would review the testimony and videotape evidence presented and would notify attorneys when he has reached a verdict, which he said would be read in open court.
Bradley waived his right to a jury trial last month after Carpenter denied a defense motion to suppress the videotaped evidence seized during a 2009 search of Bradley's former office complex in Lewes.
The trial began with attorneys agreeing to consolidate 470 counts in the original indictment against him into a 24-count indictment alleging rape, assault and sexual exploitation of a child.
It ended with Bradley, 58, telling the judge he did not wish to testify in his own defense, and after heart-wrenching testimony from a State Police computer-forensics expert, Detective Scott Garland, that had many women in the courtroom sobbing and prompted one couple to storm out, slamming the door.
Garland recounted how he and other forensic analysts had uncovered 13 hours, 35 minutes and 6 seconds of videotape of alleged sex crimes against 86 victims, dating from December 1998 to Dec. 13, 2009, just days before Bradley was arrested.
"The rapes were violent; they were brutal," Garland testified. " . . . The violence we were seeing was significant and beyond anything I had ever witnessed. Nothing had prepared me for it."
Near the end of his testimony, Garland explained how some videos showed Bradley with his hands wrapped tightly around the heads of young children, violently forcing them to perform oral sex on him. When Bradley was finished with such assaults, he would pick up the young victims and throw them several feet through the air onto a couch in the rear of a building at his office complex, where investigators found the damning videos. Sometimes he would perform "rescue breathing" and chest rubs on the semiconscious victims, Garland said.
Before Garland took the stand, prosecutor Alexis Gatti read a list of acts that the defense had agreed to, outlining details of the amended indictment.
The stipulation disclosed that one of Bradley's alleged victims, now just 4 years old, is the child of a woman who worked for Bradley. The indictment alleges that the child, identified only as Jane Doe 39, was the victim of four rapes in 2008 and 2009, and of an incident of assault involving forced oral sex that was so severe she was unable to draw sufficient breath.
Bradley's arrest in December 2009 stunned the southern Delaware community of Lewes. He was arrested after a 2-year-old girl told her mother that the doctor hurt her when he took her to a basement room of his office after an exam.
The arrest followed previous police investigations and years of suspicions among parents and questions from colleagues about his strange behavior.
Reviews ordered after Bradley's arrest found that state medical society officials, individual doctors and the Delaware Department of Justice violated state law by not reporting possible unprofessional behavior by Bradley to the medical licensing board.
The licensing board also was criticized for not investigating Bradley more than 16 years ago, after learning that Pennsylvania authorities had been told that he had fondled a young patient, and for failing to act on a 2005 complaint by Milford police after they were unable to prosecute Bradley on allegations that he improperly touched a 3-year-old patient.