Earl Bradley loses Delaware Supreme Court appeal

DOVER — The Delaware Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from a former pediatrician serving life in prison for sexually abusing scores of patients.

In a 21-page opinion Thursday, a three-judge panel rejected Earl Bradley’s claims that his trial and appeal attorneys were ineffective, and that he was denied the right to have an attorney of his choosing.

The panel upheld a Superior Court judge’s ruling similarly dismissing those post-conviction arguments.

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Earl Bradley

Bradley is serving 14 life sentences after being convicted by Judge William C. Carpenter in 2011. Bradley waived his right to a jury trial after a motion to suppress evidence was denied.

In a ruling in 2012, the state Supreme Court rejected Bradley’s argument that homemade videotapes showing him attacking young patients were seized illegally because police used a defective search warrant.

Judge Carpenter delivered the original sentence in August 2011 after a one-day bench trial in June of that year. He found Bradley guilty of 14 counts of first-degree rape and five counts each of second-degree assault and sexual exploitation of a child — crimes committed against mainly female toddlers, most too young to communicate the abuse. For the latter charges, he received 164 years in prison, also the maximum for those crimes.

Bradley was arrested in December 2009. Investigators determined he filmed the abuse on a variety of recording devices at his former office and home in Lewes and in the basement, outbuilding and examination rooms at his medical complex on Del. 1 near Lewes.

At the 2011 trial, prosecutor Paula Ryan sought the maximum penalty on behalf of the state, detailing how Bradley used his pediatric practice to prey on victims, grooming families and gaining access to their children by establishing trust, providing seemingly devoted care and bestowing gifts. Bradley kept ice pops and toys to soothe patients outside of the main office as a reason to separate parent and child and make families accept such separations and gifts as a common practice.

Delaware State News contributed to this article.

Randall Chase writes for the Associated Press

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