Doctor in US to go on trial for 471 charges of child rape

A doctor feared to be one of the world's worst paedophiles faces spending the rest of his life in prison after being accused of abusing more than 100 children.

Dr Earl Bradley faces 471 charges of child rape and sexual exploitation of 103 children at his paediatric practice in Lewes, Delaware, in the US.

He is said to have molested the children, often recording the abuse on video tape, while the children's parents waited in another room at BayBees Pediatrics oblivious to what was going on.

Beau Biden, Delaware's Attorney General, believes Dr Bradley is the most prolific child sex offender in the US.

He said: "I cannot say certain things that I am feeling, and I am feeling a great deal. I am determined to see that this defendant will never, ever, be in a position again to hurt another child."

A grand jury indicted him during a short hearing yesterday and he now awaits trial in which, if convicted, he faces a mandatory life sentence without any hope of parole.

The abuse is said to have taken place over more than a decade until his arrest in December following a year-long investigation. Investigators seized about 13 hours of video tapes, computers, hard drives and 7,000 patient files from his home and office. He had another office in Milford, Delaware, but he shut it in 2005.

Victims were aged from three months to 15 years and all but one were female. One girl is said to have been raped a dozen times, while other victims were molested on consecutive days.

His arrest came after several years of doubts about his behaviour by parents and colleagues, culminating in a two-year-old child telling her mother the doctor had hurt her in a basement room.

Dr Bradley's lawyer, Eugene Maurer, said he had yet to see the video tapes but that the "real battleground" in the case will be his client's mental state.

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