Delaware Archives:

LEWES, DELAWARE (BNO NEWS) — A former pediatrician from the state of Delaware was found guilty on Thursday on 24 child sexual abuse-related charges, including rape and exploitation, prosecutors said.

Earl Bradley, originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania but operated in Lewes, Delaware, was indicted in February 2010 on 471 charges for allegedly raping, exploiting, and molesting 103 child patients. Two months later, he was charged with 58 more offenses for abusing another 24 victims.

On Thursday, Superior Court Judge William Carpenter Jr. announced that the court found Bradley guilty of 14 counts of first degree rape, five counts of second-degree assault and five counts of sexual exploitation of a child, the Sussex Countian reported.

Delaware State Police Detective Scott Garland of the High Technology Crimes Unit was the chief witness against Bradley, as he obtained around 13 hours of harsh video evidence when searching Bradley’s home and office under an issued warrant.

The video evidence, which includes 89 incidents with 86 different victims, was later given to Judge Carpenter Jr. for further examination, but according to Garland’s testimony, the videos show Bradley forcing several child victims being forced to perform oral sex on him. In some occasions, the child is seen nearly choked to death, while in other incidents, the victims’ parents were in the same room, separated only by a drape, as Bradley would perform ‘routine examinations.’

Bradley’s victims were averagely aged around three years old, and include children as young as three months old, while the eldest include two 14-year-old girls.

The original charges were consolidated into the 24 charges, and during the sentencing, which is scheduled for August 26, Bradley could be sentenced to life in prison for each of the 14 rape charges, in addition to the assault and sexual exploitation of a child charges.

During Thursday’s verdict at a Georgetown Superior Courtroom, more than 60 onlookers and almost 20 members of the Delaware Corrections Department and Capitol Police were present.

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WILMINGTON, DELAWARE (BNO NEWS) — Police in the U.S. state of Delaware are investigating the online contact U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner had with a local teenager, authorities said on Saturday.

Weiner, who has been the U.S. Representative for New York’s 9th district since January 1999, has been involved in a scandal known as Weinergate since he accidentally posted a sexually suggestive picture on the social networking website Twitter. The Congressman had meant to send it privately to a 21-year-old woman, but accidentally sent it to all of his followers on Twitter.

The politician, who was considering a run for Mayor of New York City, has admitted to exchanging sexually explicit messages and photographs with at least six women over a three-year period, both before and during his marriage with Huma Abedin, a senior aide to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

But suspicion has been raised since Weiner was also found to have ‘followed’ a 17-year-old girl from Delaware, who said on Twitter that she is “in love” with the Congressman. “Seriously talking to Representative Weiner from New York right now! Like is my life real?” the girl, whose identity is being withheld because she is a minor, said on Twitter, according to Patterico.com.

The authenticity of the public messages the teenager sent could not be confirmed since she has made her account private since the scandal broke. But in a recent message which was archived by Twitter Search, the girl apparently referenced to Weinergate.

“Still confused and disappointed. Labarb thinks he should resign for the sake of the party. I’m still undecided … but pissed,” the girl, who described politics as her “one true love”, said earlier this week. Later messages archived by Twitter Search did not appear to reference to Weiner.

On Saturday, New Castle County Police spokeswoman Tracey Duffy confirmed that officers had interviewed the girl. “On Friday, detectives were made aware of alleged contact between Congressman Anthony Weiner and an area teen,” Duffy said. “Detectives have conducted an interview with the teen and she has made no disclosure of criminal activity nor inappropriate contact by the Congressman.”

Police gave no other details about the interview, or whether they would continue any investigation. But a member of the girl’s family told the New York Times that they were concerned about Weiner’s private contact with the girl, although the family member characterized the messages as “harmless.”

“I am angry. This is surreal and unbelievable. It is absolutely crazy. We are just regular people who go to baseball games and basketball games, as ordinary and plain as can be,” the family member told the New York Times on the condition of anonymity to protect her identity. She said the girl’s mother had been asked to turn her daughter’s computer and phone over to police to make sure no crime had occurred.

It was not immediately clear how many messages were exchanged between the Congressman and the teenager, who wrote in her Twitter profile about wanting to become president of the United States. “How hip am I talking to a future president,” Weiner told the girl in a private message, according to the New York Times which managed to obtain one of the messages.

Risa Heller, a spokeswoman for Weiner, gave no additional details. “According to Congressman Weiner, his communications with this person were neither explicit nor indecent,” she said in an e-mail statement.

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LEWES, DELAWARE (BNO NEWS) — A former pediatrician from the state of Delaware is now awaiting the judge’s ruling against him as he faces 24 child sexual abuse-related charges, including rape and exploitation, local media reported Wednesday.

Earl Bradley, originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania but operated in Lewes, Delaware, was indicted in February 2010 on 471 charges for allegedly raping, exploiting, and molesting 103 child patients. Two months later, he was charged with 58 more offenses for abusing another 24 victims.

Delaware State Police Detective Scott Garland of the High Technology Crimes Unit was the chief witness against Bradley, as he obtained around 13 hours of harsh video evidence when searching Bradley’s home and office under an issued warrant, the Sussex Countian reported.

The video evidence, which includes 89 incidents with 86 different victims, was given to Superior Court Judge William C. Carpenter Jr. for further examination, but according to Garland’s testimony, the videos show Bradley forcing several child victims being forced to perform oral sex on him. In some occasions, the child is seen nearly choked to death, while in other incidents, the victims’ parents were in the same room, separated only by a drape, as Bradley would perform ‘routine examinations.’

Bradley’s victims were averagely aged around three years old, and include children as young as three months old, while the eldest include two 14-year-old girls. The original charges were consolidated into 24 charges, including 14 first-degree rape, 5 second degree assault and 5 sexual exploitation of a child charges.

Bradley, if convicted, could be sentenced to life in prison for each of the 14 rape charges, in addition to the assault and sexual exploitation of a child charges. Judge Carpenter did not issue a scheduled verdict, but it would be read in open court at a later date, he said.

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DOVER, DELAWARE (BNO NEWS) — Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden on Tuesday called on three banks to stop foreclosure actions in the state amid questions about their foreclosures procedures.

In a letter sent to Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, and Ally Financial (formerly GMAC), Biden called for a halt to all of their pending Delaware foreclosures until the banks complete a thorough review of their foreclosure policies and procedures. He also seeks detailed information about the lenders’ review and verification process and procedures and foreclosure-related complaints they have received from Delaware homeowners.

“When Delawareans sign a mortgage agreement with a bank, they expect the bank will follow Delaware’s laws, rules and regulations,” Biden said. “Everybody has to play by the same rules. Just as homeowners have an obligation to pay their mortgages on time, banks also have to follow Delaware’s mortgage laws. We are acting to make sure that mortgage banks are following the law and that Delaware homeowners receive all of the legal protections they deserve.”

In addition to calling on the banks to suspend Delaware foreclosures until their own review of their foreclosure practices is completed, Biden asks that they provide his office with a detailed description of their existing foreclosure review and verification process and procedures, including new procedures they develop going forward.

Additionally, Biden requested copies of all complaints received from Delaware citizens regarding the foreclosure process, including complaints relating to improper notarization of documents, inaccurate information in court documents, and/or improper signatures on documents. He also asked for a detailed explanation of the reasons they are suspending foreclosures in other states.

The three banks earlier announced they are delaying foreclosure proceedings in 23 other states while they review whether their staff signed foreclosure documentation in thousands of cases without verifying the accuracy of those documents.

“Foreclosure can leave long-lasting financial and emotional scars on children and families,” Biden added. “Today we are taking another step to help homeowners by asking banks to suspend foreclosures until we can verify they have followed Delaware laws governing mortgage paperwork. It is important that no Delaware family loses their home because a bank makes a paperwork error.”

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MILFORD, DELAWARE (BNO NEWS) – A Milford, Delaware man on Friday was arrested by the Delaware Child Predator Task Force for possessing child pornography material, prosecutors said.

Sean J. Kennedy, 19, was charged with 29 counts of using a computer to depict a child engaged in an illegal sex act. His arrest stemmed of an online undercover investigation that was conducted by the Pennsylvania Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

During the course of the investigation, Pennsylvania authorities concluded that some images of child sexual exploitation were linked to a computer in Delaware and referred the case to the Delaware Child Predator Task Force, which continued the investigation. “This is why the Child Predator Task Force was created – so police and prosecutors can work together quickly to follow leads and make arrests,” said Deputy Attorney General Alexis Gatti.

The local task force obtained a search warrant and executed it at Kennedy’s residence in Milford. Law enforcement agents seized computers and other digital media. After a forensic analysis, officers found that Kennedy was in possession of multiple files of child sexual exploitation.

Kennedy is currently a student at Delaware Technical and Community College and is employed part time at The Breakfast Club, a child care center in Milford.

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WILMINGTON, DELAWARE (BNO NEWS) – Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden on Thursday joined 31 states and the District of Columbia to announce a settlement with the sweepstake company Publishers Clearing House after a multi-state investigation into the company that revealed deceptive trade practices that targeted low-income and the elderly.

Biden said that there is no excuse for misleading vulnerable individuals into spending money at the company. “The Delaware Department of Justice will continue to stand up for the rights of Delaware’s consumer against companies that would take advantage of them,” Biden noted.

The agreement changes the terms of an agreement that was established with the company in 2001, which resolves the States’ allegations that Publishers Clearing House was engaging in deceptive marketing practices by sending promotional materials which are designed to deceive customers into believing that purchases from the company would increase chances of winning.

The current investigation resulted in the States believing that Publishers Clearing House was not in full compliance with the 2001 agreement and consumers would still continue to be confused by the nature and language of the company’s sweepstakes promotional mailings. It also revealed that marketing was directed toward the elderly and low-income.

The agreement that was settled on Thursday indicates that the company will have to make changes to the order form that makes it clear that no purchase is necessary. It also prohibits the use of customer initials, identifying numbers, or identifying information that would lead back to the customer that would make it appear though have a better chance of winning.

Publishers Clearing House did agree to pay $3.5 million to cover the cost of the states’ investigation. Delaware will receive $40,000 of the settlement, which will go toward the State’s Consumer Protection Fund.

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WILMINGTON, DELAWARE (BNO NEWS) – The U.S. Department of Justice announced on Wednesday that the former Treasurer of Kenton, Delaware was arrested and charged with three counts of theft of over $50,000 and two counts of second degree Forgery after an investigation into embezzlement, theft, and forgery of town documents.

“Our office will continue to be a watchdog over public funds,” Attorney General Beau Biden said. “The Department of Justice Special Investigations Unit worked hard on this case, and with the cooperation of the Auditor’s Office, we’re helping the town of Kenton retain its financial integrity.”

The case was investigated by the Attorney General’s Fraud and Consumer Protection Division following an early June 2010 referral by the Delaware State Auditor’s Office, which conducted an audit at the request of Kenton town officials.

The investigation revealed that Stephanie Mickle, former Treasurer of Kenton, made herself Town Manager with forged town Council Meeting documents and proceeded to sell the town’s cell phone tower easement and access those funds for personal use. She used debit cards, checks, computer transactions, and electronic transfers to pay personal expenses, which included a court-ordered restitution.

Investigators learned that from 2008-2010, she made approximately 900 fraudulent financial transactions. As the town treasurer, she had complete access to the funds for the town. The total financial loss to the Town of Kenton ranges from $188,000 to $200,000.

Mickle has been committed to Baylor Women’s Correctional Institution in lieu of a $63,000 secured bond.

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WILMINGTON, DELAWARE (BNO NEWS) – Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden on Tuesday said that Craigslist did the correct thing by eliminating the section of its U.S. internet site featuring adult-themed classified advertisements.

Biden and 20 more Attorney Generals from other states sent a letter to Craigslist last week calling for the removal of its “Adult Services” section. The claim was made after the website section was repeatedly used to solicit child prostitution and other forms of human trafficking.

“This is about protecting women and children from being sold for sex. This is about nothing but removing a tool horrible people may be using to exploit women and children in a sickening way. Craigslist did the right thing by deleting these ads, and I hope the company never allows such postings to return,” Biden said.

The letter was issued after Craigslist’s inability or unwillingness to regulate its website content. Biden cited an open letter written by two girls to the website where they described the brutal assaults they suffered as a result of published ads in the site.

Biden also mentioned in the letter, a report of a CNN reporter who within three hours of posting fictional advertisement in the section, received 15 telephone calls soliciting sex.

In 2008, entered into an agreement with Delaware, 42 other states and territories, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children under which it would combat inappropriate content and illegal activity in what it was then called its “Erotic Services” section.

However, the Attorney General contended that not only Craigslist failed at blocking or removing the requested content, it continued to collect revenue from the illegal advertisements.

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WILMINGTON, DELAWARE (BNO NEWS) — A Delaware man was sentenced to life in prison after over 70 arrests and more than 100 criminal offenses, prosecutors said Thursday.

Dallas Drummond, 31, of Dover, Delaware, has failed to complete probation multiple times and has previously been convicted of rape, assault, burglary, conspiracy, harassment, endangering the welfare of a child, failure to register as a sex offender, criminal impersonation, and many other offenses. 

On January 19, 2009, Drummond broke into the Smyrna apartment of his estranged wife, who had previously obtained a No Contact Order against him, and stole a computer which he later sold. A Kent County Jury last month convicted Drummond of burglary, theft by false pretense, theft, and criminal trespass. 

While free on bail awaiting his July trial for these offenses, he was arrested on April 14 and charged with committing a rape which occurred in April 2009. Attorney General Beau Biden’s office argued that Drummond is a substantial risk to the community and a danger to his family and to society.

After his conviction, prosecutors petitioned the Court to declare Drummond a “habitual offender” and this morning Superior Court Judge Robert B. Young did so and sentenced him to the mandatory term of life in prison without parole.

“Career criminals do not belong in our communities, they belong behind bars where they cannot be a threat to public safety,” Biden stated.

Under Delaware law, offenders convicted of three separate violent felonies can be declared a “Habitual Offender” and sentenced to the mandatory term of life in prison without parole. Drummond has been in prison since his April, 2010 arrest.

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MOUNT PLEASANT, SOUTH CAROLINA (BNO NEWS) — A small plane crashed near an airport in South Carolina on early Monday afternoon, killing the pilot, federal and local authorities said.

The Comp Air 8 aircraft crashed around 2 p.m. local time near 700 Faison Road in Mount Pleasant, a suburban town in Charleston County, according to Lynn Lunsford, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Lunsford said the pilot was on an instrument flight plan from Merritt Island, Florida to Mount Pleasant. “He had been in contact with air traffic control until just before the accident, when he radioed that he had the airport in sight,” Lunsford said. “There was no further contact.

Lunsford said the aircraft crashed in a marshy area within the airport boundaries. “Our investigator has arrived [at the scene] and is beginning the investigation into the probable cause,” he added.

A Comp Air 8 aircraft is typically capable of carrying eight people, but the aircraft that crashed was only carrying its pilot when it went down.

A spokesman for the Mount Pleasant Police Department said there was heavy smoke at the crash site when they arrived on scene. “But [the Fire Department] has it contained,” he added.

Federal records showed the plane was registered to Bogco Aviation, Inc. out of Wilmington, Delaware. A phone number for the company could not immediately be located, and a search showed hundreds of companies were located at the registered address.

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