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Police testify at trial of doctor accused of raping toddlers

By Dave Warner

GEORGETOWN, Del (Reuters) - The trial of a Delaware pediatrician accused of raping and sexually assaulting his young patients opened on Tuesday, with police describing videotapes the doctor allegedly made of the attacks in which he gave his victims ice pops to help hide the blood and bruises.

Dr. Earl Bradley, of Lewes, Delaware, faces 24 counts of rape, sexual assault and sexual exploitation in the non-jury trial before Judge William Carpenter in Sussex County, Delaware Superior Court.

He is accused of attacks on dozens of his patients, all but one of them girls, between 1998 and 2009.

The doctor made 86 videotapes of the attacks, using tiny hidden cameras, according to testimony by State Police Detective Scott Garland.

"Nothing prepared me for this," Garland testified.

"I would scream at the video screen, 'Let her up,'" he testified, describing one victim as "screaming, blood-curdling screaming."

The doctor often gave them ice pops to suck on to cover the bruising and blood left when he forced their mouths open, he said.

"It covers the ferocity of the attack," Garland testified.

He said Bradley preferred nonverbal toddlers as his victims and that their average age was just over 3 years old.

Following testimony by Garland and another officer, the prosecution rested its case, and the defense did not present any case.

The judge said he would watch the videos and issue a verdict at a later date.

The bearded Bradley, who is being held in prison, appeared in court in a grey-blue prison uniform and showed no emotion.

Asked by the judge if he wanted to testify, Bradley declined.

Bradley was arrested on December 16, 2009 after a year-long investigation that resulted in seizure of some 13 hours of video evidence, as well as computers, hard drives and more than 7,000 patient files from his home and medical office.

If convicted, the doctor faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.

(Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Jerry Norton)

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