This is stomach-turning.

[Trigger warning.]

Delaware pediatrician accused of sexually abusing patients (good on CNN for not using a euphemism in that headline): Delaware pediatrician, Dr. Earl Bradley, 56, who has been practicing in Delaware for more than a decade, has been indicted on 471 felony counts in the alleged sexual abuse of his patients, 103 children, all but one of whom were girls. The charges include, but are not limited to, rape and sexual exploitation of a child, endangering child welfare, and assault. Bradley also has medical licenses in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Florida, where officials have been notified so investigations can begin there, too.
Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden told CNN Radio the indictment is based on "video and digital evidence" seized from Bradley's home and medical practice in December. Authorities have not ruled out additional charges, he added.

"The reality is that as a prosecutor, the rules prohibit me from telling you exactly how I feel -- and I'm feeling a great deal today," Biden said.

...Bradley's attorney, Eugene Maurer Jr., said he would base his client's defense on mental health.

"Most of the evidence in this case comes from videotapes -- it's kind of hard to argue with videotapes," Maurer said, adding, "The issue in this case is going to come down to his mental health at the time."
Sexual predators of various stripes have tried mental impairment defenses before, but it's tough to argue that someone was under duress on somewhere between 103-471 separate occasions. Juries and jurists don't buy it, nor should they.

I nonetheless shudder every time I see such a defense being used, because I am terrified of the precedent that a "not guilty by reason of mental defect" verdict could potentially set in a case like this. Let us hope that the defense fails once again, on behalf of survivors everywhere, and particularly on behalf of Bradley's victims.

Because of the silence surrounding sexual assault in this culture, we don't have established words of condolence for its survivors. I always feel like saying, "I'm sorry for your loss." Loss of safety. Loss of security. Loss of whatever solid sense of self you had in your life before someone stole it from you.

I'm so sorry for what happened to you. No, what was done to you.

I don't know what to say, what to offer, to Bradley's victims, besides this: I wish you peace and justice.

[H/T to Shaker Catherine.]

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