Day 1 of the trial in the1st Reardon lawsuit against St. Francis hospital began with opening statements, witness testimony and graphic pictures depicting the horrible abuse on hundreds of young victims as young as 8 years old. The children all raped and sexually abused by a doctor they say lured them in on the premise of a child growth study.
This is the first of 93 lawsuits filed by John and Jane Doe's who claim St. Francis hospital failed to protect them and supervise doctors visits where the abuse took place. The first plaintiff John Doe 2 says Reardon sometimes wore a pistol in a shoulder holster beneath his lab coat during the so-called examinations.
For 30 years the hospital's chief endocrinologist, Dr. George Reardon would take pictures and video of his lurid acts but the proof wouldn't surface for decades and years after Reardon died.
In 2007 a couple doing renovations at the doctor's former West Hartford home made the gruesome discovery hidden behind a false wall in the basement of 50,000 slides and video's of Reardon performing despicable acts on hundreds if not thousands of children from the 1960's-1980's ranking him among the most prolific pedophile's in U.S. history.
John Doe 2's attorney Joel Faxon says, "once the slides came out of the wall, the wall of secrets, many people came forward. Prior to that time, they didn't have the substantiation that they had once that occurred."
One of the victims whose trial is pending says, "I wish Reardon was alive. I really wish he was alive to face this. My first thought was finally I can speak out and maybe some others can speak out and we can probably prove this."
At the time this John Doe was just 8-years-old and afraid to speak up adding, "it was my word against theirs and now I have facts. I have evidence. Pictures. Documents. And you can’t argue with the evidence.
Reardon, who died in 1998 was chief of endocrinology at St. Francis from 1963 until he was forced to retire in 1993, when a brother and sister from upstate New York tracked him to Hartford and complained to the State Department of Health that he had abused them when he was a medical students in the late 50's and early 60's.
There had been at least one other complaint of abuse by Reardon in 1970 made to the Hartford County Medical Association, but there is no record St. Francis was notified of the complaint.
Those suing St. Francis claim the hospital, as Reardon's employer had an obligation to supervise them and are seeking damages for the trauma they say was inflicted by Reardon and the lingering effects they say they still endure. Lawyers have said St. Francis has expressed a willingness to settle but one or more of the hospital's insurance carriers have balked.