- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 31, 2009

REHOBOTH, Del. | Delaware’s Board of Medical Practice on Tuesday ordered the emergency suspension of a pediatrician charged with raping nine patients and suspected of abusing possibly more than 100 children.

Though detectives had been investigating Dr. Earl Bradley for about a year, the medical board did not know of the probe until Dr. Bradley’s arrest earlier this month, a state police spokesman said.

Among the evidence seized by investigators are videotapes that they say show Dr. Bradley engaged in sex acts with children as young as 6 months old.

Division of Professional Regulation director James Collins said officials found the doctor was “an imminent danger to the public” and decided that immediate disciplinary action was warranted.

Dr. Bradley’s inactive Pennsylvania license was suspended last week. He has New Jersey and Florida licenses, but it does not appear that he practiced medicine there.

While the board was voting to suspend Dr. Bradley’s license, residents of the Lewes community gathered at a meeting sponsored by a local hospital to provide information on resources for them and their children.

Concerned parents asked officials why Dr. Bradley was allowed to continue practicing during an investigation that began a year ago and despite earlier complaints.

A woman who said she watched Dr. Bradley inappropriately touch her daughter in 1999 during a doctor’s visit said she filed a report with state police at least four years ago after hearing of similar complaints from other parents.

“This could have been stopped years ago,” said the woman, who asked that her name not be published to avoid identifying her daughter. The Associated Press does not identify possible victims of sexual abuse.

Other parents complained that police were slow in responding to them.

“We want to know whether our kids are on the videotape,” said one woman who feared her child may have been abused.

Deputy Attorney General Patricia Dailey Lewis, director of the state Department of Justice’s Family Division, said police and prosecutors were working as hard as they can but that they could not talk about the investigation.

Vivian Rapposelli, secretary of the Delaware Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families, had to compose herself before speaking to parents who turned out for the meeting.

“I am horrified,” Miss Rapposelli said before becoming visibly distraught. “I appreciate that the public is obviously angry and frustrated. As a mother, it angered and sickened me.”

Asked about previous investigations that failed to result in Dr. Bradley’s arrest, Miss Lewis noted that “the system isn’t designed to make it easy for us to convict people.”

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