- Associated Press - Friday, January 24, 2014

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - A former pediatrician convicted of raping scores of patients has filed a new appeal accusing public defenders of providing “ineffective” counsel.

The News Journal reports (https://delonline.us/KPc9nE ) that Earl Bradley’s appeal filed this week also claims that he was denied the right to counsel of his choosing when the attorney general’s office seized his assets. The 60-year-old is serving 14 life sentences for child rape after his 2011 conviction.

In 2012, the Delaware Supreme Court rejected an appeal that argued videotapes of Bradley attacking young patients were seized illegally because police searched buildings at his Lewes facility not specified in a warrant. His attorneys didn’t contest the videos at trial, but preserved the right to challenge the search.

The new appeal claims public defenders Robert Goff and Dean Johnson should have challenged the Superior Court judge’s consideration of evidence that not in the warrant. It also claims they should have sought a new Supreme Court hearing after the court “misapprehended a key fact” in the warrant.

Bradley, now 60, is serving 14 life sentences plus 164 years for raping and sexually abusing children he treated. He was convicted after a one-day trial in June 2011 in which his attorneys did not contest the videotaped evidence, which was not shown in court, but preserved the right to challenge the search as illegal.

It’s typical for defendants with lengthy prison terms whose direct appeals have failed to claim their lawyers failed them, Goff said.

“We tried our best. We did our best. We did our duty to our client,” Goff said.

In 2012, Goff said Bradley had exhausted appeals, but in May, Delaware courts ruled that indigent defendants can get a taxpayer-funded attorney to argue that their earlier attorney was ineffective. The ruling piggybacks on a U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

Bradley had had hired high-profile criminal lawyer Eugene J. Maurer Jr. after his December 2009 arrest. The motion related to the civil suit against Bradley and lien on his properties says, “The state also knew or had reason to know that by freezing Mr. Bradley’s assets, he would no longer be able to afford to have Mr. Maurer continue representing him.”

Maurer, who had said he was pursuing a mental illness defense for Bradley, said Thursday he wanted to remain as Bradley’s lawyer after his assets were frozen, but “it was not possible” for his family to afford a private attorney. Maurer said that he believed his replacements did a fine job.

The attorney general’s office said it would respond to the motion by the May 30 deadline.

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Information from: The News Journal of Wilmington, Del., https://www.delawareonline.com

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