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$123M Settlement: Pediatrician Molests Patients After Drugging Them With Candy

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—A chilling case of child abuse. A pediatrician rapes his young patients and videotapes every brutal moment. A critical deadline is approaching for the victims in a multimillion dollar settlement.

Mike Hellgren has new insight into the doctor being called a monster.

The victims' lawyers say that by the sheer number of children assaulted this is the largest sex abuse case in U.S. history. Many of the patients are from Maryland's Eastern Shore, and they must file their claims this week.

Even veteran investigators say they have never seen a child sex abuse case as horrific as Dr. Earl Bradley's.

Drugging them with lollipops as their parents waited nearby, he recorded every depraved act.

"It could be up to 7,000.  This man, this monster was perpetrating these acts for some 15 years," said  Jonathan Schochor, a lawyer representing victims. "It's hard for us having worked on the case, to understand how that was permitted to occur."

The pediatrician in Lewes, Del. attacked and raped his patients—hundreds of them.

Their average age was three. Some were infants. They were too young to tell what happened to them while their parents waited in the next room.

"Dr. Bradley is mentally ill.  He's delusional," said Philip C. Federico, lawyer for victims.

These Baltimore attorneys negotiated a $123 million settlement for the victims.

"This was the most difficult case we've ever been involved with.  It was truly gut-wrenching, having the team interview these parents," Schochor said.

The money comes from Beebe Medical Center, where Bradley had privileges. The facility feared lawsuits would bankrupt it and decided to settle.

"He was a respected physician. He turned out to be a pedophile and a monster," said Bill Lee, Beebe Medical Center chair of board. "Can I guarantee it's not going to happen again?  Frighteningly, I can't."

The hours of graphic video show Bradley assaulting children in rooms filled with toys and cartoon characters.

The amount of money given to each victim depends on the severity of the abuse.

"There are victims who have attempted suicide.  Not only are the children victims, but families have been destroyed," Federico said. "It really defies belief, what this doctor did to these children."

The deadline for victims is Friday. Bradley is now serving 14 consecutive life sentences plus 164 more years in prison.

Bradley's crimes were so horrific, his office was torn down. He will never be eligible for an early release from jail.

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