What's Wrong with People?: Dr. Earl Bradley, Nancy

Delaware Doctor

Delaware Pediatrician Dr. Earl Bradley has been charged with more than 400 counts of criminal conduct, including sexually abusing 100 children between the ages of 3 months and 13 years. Prosecutors speculate that he could be responsible for the worst single case of child sexual abuse in U.S. history.

In a news report, one woman in disguise says her 5-year-old daughter was one of his victims. "He said he was checking her for a bladder infection, and he actually inserted fingers inside of her, and it was very quick, and I didn't question it because I trusted him," she says.

Hundreds of other parents trusted Bradley as well and would allow him to take their children to a separate room at his office where prosecutors say the abuse occurred. The assaults happened between 1998 and 2009.

Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden reported at a press conference that the indictment was based on "video evidence seized by law enforcement during the execution of the search warrant at the defendant's home and office."

[AD]Bradley's office, BayBees Pediatric, was popular because it resembled an amusement park with rides, toys and ice cream.

Another mom says, "I was out of the room for three minutes or less, and you don't think anything of that at the time, but now looking back, the detectives have told us that some of the videotapes took less than 45 seconds."

Police are still going through hundreds of tapes. Bradley remains behind bars in Sussex County.

"This is somebody who was on the radar. Complaints had been filed, investigations had been done, and they allowed you to walk your child in there and put him in his hands!" Dr. Phil says. "How does this happen? What is wrong with people?"

Dr. Phil introduces HLN's Nancy Grace, host of Nancy Grace. She joins the show via satellite.

About Dr. Earl Bradley, Nancy says, "I feel sick. I feel angry, and I feel sick." She doesn't understand how the victims were allowed to be taken away from their parents' eyesight. "And every doctor I've ever been to has an assistant in the room. Isn't that violating medical protocol right there?" she asks.

Dr. Phil goes over the alleged details in this story:

  • Nearly 500 criminal counts, including child rape
  • 103 victims: 102 girls, one boy
  • Victim's ages range from 3 months to 13 years old
  • The first indictment dates back to December 10, 1998 â€" the most recent count is December 13, 2009
  • Bradley gained parents' trust, lured kids away
  • 13 hours of video files recovered from home and office
  • Videos show dozens of violent sexual acts with children
  • Muzzles children
  • Yells to perform sexual acts on him
  • 5 girls appear to lose consciousness during sex assaults
  • Bradley is licensed in New Jersey, Florida, Pennsylvania and Delaware
  • Investigation began after 2-year-old complained Bradley touched her genitals and hurt her
  • Possibly the worst serial offender in U.S. history

[AD]

"I've only got one word, Dr. Phil: Freak!" Nancy says. She explains that Bradley's defense attorney is going to argue mental insanity.

"Dr. Phil, there were warning signs," Nancy says. "Red flags were flying! He was investigated back in 2005 and 2008. A colleague referred to him as a pedophile. [The investigations] were for excessive kissing and improper vaginal examinations on little girls. Even with all of that, nobody brought charges! It didn't even go to the medical board, Dr. Phil."

"When we go to a doctor who has a license from the state to practice medicine, you assume that that's an endorsement, that somebody has checked this person out, that there's a gatekeeper," Dr. Phil says.

Dr. Phil examines the system failures in this story:

  • 1994: Pennsylvania Medical Licensing Board investigates sexual misconduct " Board did not prosecute
  • 1995: Second investigation by Pennsylvania Medical Licensing Board " Board did not prosecute
  • 2005: Delaware police conduct criminal investigation for excessive kissing
  • According to witnesses, a fellow pediatrician tells police: Patients complain of long vaginal exams, calls Dr. Bradley pedophile to colleagues
  • Another pediatrician tells police: Bradley likes to take pictures of patients, patients complain of long vaginal exams
  • Nurse colleague tells police: Bradley videotapes kids in plays, enjoys photography
  • Office manager (reportedly Bradley's sister) tells police: Patient complains of inappropriate touching
  • Bradley took medication home " possibly bipolar
  • Uncle was convicted of pedophilia-related charges in 1991
  • Alleges child pornography in father's home in 1965
  • Attorney General's office did not prosecute
  • Hospital didn't turn over records because matter was dropped
  • Hospital claims no knowledge of any issues requiring reporting Dr. Bradley to Medical Board, but hospital restricts Bradley to work under chaperone for one month
  • 2008: Three parents tell Delaware police of inappropriate vaginal exams
  • Judge refused to sign search warrant for Bradley's office
  • Result: No charges " Continued practicing medicine until arrested December 2009

[AD]

"In this case, police had information from a nurse that he was videotaping vaginal exams of little girls, and still no arrest," Nancy says. "If only they had performed a search warrant early of his home, they would've had these videos. They date back for years, Dr. Phil!"

Sergeant Walter Newton of the Delaware State Police joins the show via telephone.

"Why has it taken so many years to get this guy from the radar to the jail?" Dr. Phil asks.

"Back in 2005, Dr. Bradley had an office in the town of Milford. The Milford police received some calls about him. They began an investigation. They did an excellent job. At the time, the Attorney General's Office did not grant them permission to go forward with an arrest," he says. "A short time later, Dr. Bradley packed up his office and moved south into Sussex County. We first received reports back in November of 2008. At that point, we had conducted an investigation. We had moved forward and applied for a search warrant to search his office and his computer equipment. That search warrant was denied. We still kept the investigation going. Then in November of 2009, we received a critical piece of evidence that allowed us to move forward with a search warrant. Once we did that, subsequent arrest charges were made."

"What everybody wants to know is why in the world it took so long?"

What can parents do to keep their children safe?

1) Do not leave your child alone.
Nancy explains, "A lot of these parents may not have realized that proper protocol was for them to be in the room, or at least to have an assistant in the room with the doctor."

2) Get a background check on the doctor.

Consider DocInfo.org, or call (817) 868-4000. It costs $9.95.

3) Contact your State Medical Board.

What you can learn varies state by state, but what some can tell you is:

  • Disciplinary action, convictions, citations against the doctor
  • Malpractice judgments and settlements
  • Licensure data

What some can't tell you:

  • Complaints or investigations against a doctor
  • Misdemeanor convictions
  • Information about pending or dismissed cases

4) If you believe your child is a victim, contact your local law enforcement agency and State Medical Board.

Nancy also recommends trusting your instincts and getting referrals. She says she believes the staff working for Dr. Bradley is guilty too. "You can't tell me that they didn't know something was very, very wrong," she says.

[AD]"As it's been said, ‘All that's required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing,'" Dr. Phil says. He encourages his viewers to know who they are turning their children over to and who they are allowing to have access to their children. "Do your homework. Assume nothing."