Video: Pediatrician accused of child sex abuse

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    >> o'donnell, live on capitol hill . now to what officials say could be the worst case of child sex abuse in u.s. history . a delaware pediatrician is charged with nearly 500 counts of child abuse . authorities accuse dr. earl bradley of sexually assaulting more than 100 girls and one boy he treated and, they say, he secretly videotaped the attacks. this is reportedly the third time authorities have tried to build a case against this pediatrician. nbc' nbc's ron allen is covering the story. he joi he joins me in studio. this is absolutely shocking. the details are stunning. and, ron, to add to this these allegations go back, i understand, ten years, is that right?

    >> perhaps as far

    >> perhaps as far back as 1998 . they're looking at 13 hours of videotape the doctor kept probably to look at again and again, and they're trying to identify the kids who were involved in this. they don't know who all the kids were and we don't know all their ages. we do know there was a 2-year-old girl who complained the doctor took her to a basement and hurt her and that's how this whole thing was uncovered.

    >> obviously there are many questions but let me start here. have we heard from parents explaining how he allegedly had access to be alone with these kids?

    >> no.

    >> no. that's the question i asked the ag's office when i called this morning. i i take my daughter to a pediatrician or my wife does and we stay with her. where does the doctor get this opportunity? was there some way he lured the children and told the parents, oh, she'ld? be okay with me, so we're going to go do this. a lot of questions because this involves minors and this is such a horrific allegation there are not a lot of details. just imagine what this community is going through. there have been some 3,000 families that have been contacted who were patients of the doctor to see if their kid was in some way abused and so now parents are wondering maybe these problems my kid has had relate back to this. it's just shocking.

    >> it's shocking and even more when you hear it's the third time authorities are trying to build a case against this doctor.

    >> t

    >> there have been allegations in the past. in 2005 his office was closed down after a police investigation. he cho he chose to close it down but it didn't go forward. one thing the ag wants to know, there's a reporting mechanism in delaware anyone who has suspicions that someone has engaged in unprofessional conduct should report to the state medical authorities. that apparently did not happen. the question is why while we sort out who the victims are.

    >> we'll talk more about it,

updated 2/23/2010 12:33:40 PM ET 2010-02-23T17:33:40

A Delaware grand jury returned a sweeping indictment Monday against a pediatrician accused of serial molestation in what could be one of the worst child sex abuse cases in the nation's history.

The 160-page indictment returned by a Sussex County grand jury charges Dr. Earl Bradley of Lewes with 471 counts of sexual crimes against 103 children.

Attorney General Beau Biden said all of the alleged victims, including one boy, were caught on more than 13 hours of video recordings, some dating to 1998, that were seized from Bradley's office and home.

"The charges in this indictment are unique in the history of the state of Delaware, as far as I can tell," he said.

"These were crimes committed against the most vulnerable among us — those without voices," Biden added as tears welled in his eyes and he paused to collect himself.

Biden said that while there have been other cases around the country involving multiple victims, "I know of no other that has this many victims."

Medical license revoked
The charges against Bradley include rape, sexual exploitation of a child, unlawful sexual contact, continuous sexual abuse of a child, assault and reckless endangering.

Bradley, who was arrested in December and initially charged with 29 felony counts for allegedly abusing nine children, is being held with bail set at $2.9 million. His medical license was permanently revoked by the state Board of Medical Practice last week.

Bradley's attorney, Eugene Maurer, did not immediately return telephone messages Monday.

Authorities would not say whether they think Bradley had videotaped all of his alleged assaults or whether there may be more victims.

"I expect that we will add to this indictment with new charges over the coming months," Biden said.

He encouraged parents and victims of Bradley, "regardless of age or gender," to contact prosecutors, who have sent out about 3,100 letters to Bradley's patients and set up an office in Lewes to handle complaints and direct potential victims and their families to counseling and other services.

"I know that today's indictment will reopen painful wounds," he said.

Sussex County prosecutor Paula Ryan declined to say how many alleged victims seen on videotape have been identified by name, or to provide an age range. The indictment refers to each alleged victim only as "Jane Doe" or "John Doe."

Years of suspicions
After years of suspicions among parents and questions about his strange behavior from colleagues, Bradley was arrested after a 2-year-old girl told her mother that the doctor hurt her in December when he took her to a basement room of his office after an exam.

The case has shocked the close-knit coastal community of Lewes and the central Delaware town of Milford, where Bradley closed an office in 2005 after police investigated him.

Biden and Gov. Jack Markell have ordered reviews to determine whether doctors, hospitals, state agencies or law enforcement authorities failed to comply with a state law that requires all such entities to report to the medical licensing board in writing within 30 days if they believe a doctor is or "may be" guilty of unprofessional conduct.

Biden said Monday that those investigations are aimed at determining "how this physician could lurk in our midst for as long as he did."

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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