Doctor pleads not guilty to molesting 100 patients

GEORGETOWN, Del. (AP) — A Delaware pediatrician pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges that he molested more than 100 of his patients, many of them repeatedly, and videotaped the assaults.

A public defender for Dr. Earl Bradley entered the plea before Sussex County Superior Court Judge T. Henley Graves. Bradley said nothing during the two-minute hearing.

Bradley, who was arrested in December, is being held in lieu of bail that Graves raised to $4.7 million. The 471 counts against Bradley include rape, sexual exploitation of a child, unlawful sexual contact, continuous sexual abuse of a child, assault, and reckless endangering. His medical license has been permanently revoked by Delaware officials.

Bradley, dressed in a gray prison jumpsuit and bound by handcuffs and leg shackles, was escorted into the courtroom by two security guards. His sheepish demeanor was accented by the bangs of his long hair drooping over his forehead, and he sported the same graying beard seen in photos after he was arrested.

As the courtroom emptied after the hearing, two women seated in the spectator section sobbed, consoled by a third woman.

Lisa Mullen of Rehoboth brought her daughter, a former patient of Bradley's, to the hearing.

"I wanted her to see how this process worked in person. She was very fond of Dr. Bradley," said Mullen, who believes Bradley belongs in a mental hospital for the criminally insane.

Mullen said neither her daughter, who turns 16 on Thursday, nor her son, now 21, were among Bradley's victims.

"We loved Dr. Bradley," she said. "We felt like he was some of our family."

Bradley's public defenders, Dean Johnson and Stephanie Tsantes, declined to comment on specifics of the case after the hearing.

"We're not going to have a comment on anything from this point forward," Johnson said, adding that they didn't want to add to the publicity surrounding the case.

Bradley was assigned taxpayer-funded legal counsel when his two private lawyers dropped out following a move by the attorney general's office to freeze Bradley's assets.

A grand jury indictment returned last month alleges that Bradley videotaped sexual attacks on 103 children, dating back to December 1998. Many victims were assaulted repeatedly, the indictment said.

Prosecutors have said they expect to file more charges and believe there may be more victims than those seen on the videotapes.

Following 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 Lewes office after an exam.

The judge scheduled a status conference in the case for May 17.