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Doctors Behaving Badly: Toys in the pediatrician’s basement didn’t make it less of a dungeon

Doctors Behaving Badly: Toys in the pediatrician’s basement didn’t make it less of a dungeon

Picture of William Heisel

Dr. Earl Bradley had rooms in his pediatric practice decorated with Disney characters. Standard issue for the field.

He also had a merry-go-round and a Ferris wheel, which might be pushing the boundaries of childlike enthusiasm.

What made Bradley truly unusual, though, were the six handheld video cameras he kept. He used them, police say, to film himself molesting patients. They suspect he may have victimized more than 100 children, often bringing them into the basement of his office where he gave them toys to play with but also terrorized them.

Lucky for the cops, he documented so many of his misdeeds on tape that they should have no trouble putting him away.

The New York Times wrote about some of the court filings that detail Bradley's violent attacks on his patients.

The papers describe one video in which Dr. Bradley abuses a patient who tried twice to run away. They also describe the reaction of one veteran detective. "Detective describes this as one of the most violent and brutal attacks on a child of any age that he has seen captured on video," the court papers said.

Delaware suspended Bradley's medical license (No. C1-0004285) last week. His license expired seven years ago in Pennsylvania, where he trained. He also has licenses in Florida and New Jersey, and those states have yet to take action.

Perhaps it's no surprise that Bradley has been on a suicide watch.

Final question. Why did it take so long to bust this doctor? The police say that a year ago they received multiple complaints about Bradley. "We investigated as far as we could, but there wasn't enough evidence to go forward with charges," Sgt. Walter Newton, a Delaware State Police spokesman, told The New York Times. What type of evidence did they have and why wasn't it enough to get a search warrant? If Bradley had stacks of videotapes documenting the attacks in his office, that should have been everything the police needed. Parents certainly will be coming forward now, and I bet they will tell a different story.

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