A popular Delaware pediatrician may have sexually assaulted more than 100 of his young patients and videotaped the acts in what officials are calling one of the largest sexual abuse cases in the state's history.
Dr. Earl Bradley, 56, is being held in the Vaughn Correctional Center on a $2.9 million cash bond after he was charged with 33 felony counts, including rape and sexual exploitation of a child, stemming from incidents at his Lewes, Del., practice, BayBees Pediatrics.
Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden told ABCNews.com that "this is a very very troubling case, and we here in the state of Delaware are pursuing it aggressively to the fullest extent of the law."
"The thing that makes this case so troubling and horrific is the alleged abuse of trust in this matter," said Biden. "These are highly specialized cases where no one in the community could believe someone could do this to a child, to a child who is voiceless."
Biden said that some of the alleged victims were just months old. If convicted, Bradley could face life in prison, according to Biden.
"Both as an attorney general and a father of two children it shocks the conscience," said Biden. "But I'd like to take this opportunity to tell parents that we are doing everything in our power to pursue this case to the fullest extent of the law."
Asked how the reported abuse was able to go on for so long, Biden responded, "The Delaware State Police has been aggressively investigating this and when they had evidence of crime they came to us and we filed charges. I have a great degree of confidence in the Delaware State Police and we are aggressively pursuing this investigation."
According to court documents obtained by ABCNews.com, the investigation was spurred after a 2-year-old girl told her mother that Bradley had touched her genitals and "hurt her" during a Dec. 7 appointment.
Bradley was supposed to appear at a preliminary hearing Wednesday, but it was rescheduled for Jan. 14, 2010, after Bradley was reportedly put on suicide watch.
The attorney representing Bradley, Eugene Maurer, called the suicide reports "bogus" in an interview with ABC News and said that his client is actually just isolated in the prison infirmary.
"I think he's sort of in shell-shock by everything that's happened so quickly," said Maurer. "He is well aware of what he's facing at this point."
"It seems to me that we need to do a very rigorous exploration of his mental health and see if there's any pathology there," he added. "This case kind of cries out for that kind of analysis."
According to the child's mother, who is not named in the court documents, Bradley first examined the toddler in her presence, but then "removed the victim to the basement of the office, where a toy room is located."
The mother told authorities that she permitted her daughter to be alone with Bradley "because of his position as a doctor" and because she "trusted him."
But on the way home from the doctor the mother alleges that her daughter said Bradley had sexually abused her while they were alone in the basement. The girl's father, who had taken to her to a previous appointment with Bradley, also told authorities his daughter had made a similar complaint to him in November.