DOVER, Del. (AP/WBOC)- The Delaware Supreme Court is weighing an appeal by a former pediatrician serving life in prison for sexually abusing scores of young patients over more than a decade.
An attorney for Earl B. Bradley told a three-judge panel of the court Wednesday that a 2009 search of Bradley's former office complex in Lewes during which state police found videotape evidence was unconstitutional.
The defense contends that the warrant allowed police to search only for evidence related to patient medical files. They say the warrant did not allow police to seize a computer flash drive containing homemade videos of Bradley's sexual assaults, or to search the building in which it was found.
"The fact that police entered into buildings A through C and took everything they could at those particular locations indicates that they were going beyond the scope of the warrant," said public defender Robert Goff.
Prosecutors argue that the search was valid and reasonable, noting medical files could be stored electronically.
"To look at the thumb drive to determine if that had bits or pieces of patient records, in whatever format," said deputy attorney general Paul Wallace, who argued on behalf of the state.
Bradley, who is also of Lewes, was sentenced last year to 14 life sentences without parole. The Lewes offices where some of the abuse took place have since been demolished.
The proceedings lasted less than an hour. Each side was given about 20 minutes, though the state did not use all of their time. About 40 people were inside the Supreme Court chambers, mostly law clerks, reporters and attorneys.
The appeal was one of several cases the court was scheduled to hear on Wednesday. It is unclear when the judges will make their decision.