Hospital Takes out Ad after Doctor Allegations

December 6, 2007

HARTFORD, Conn. — Facing at least one lawsuit and possibly many more, St. Francis Hospital is on damage control after hundreds of thousands of child pornography slides and films were found in the home of a former staff physician.

The hospital took out a full-page in Thursday's Hartford Courant. The ad contained a letter written by hospital president and CEO Christopher Dadlez.

"Recent news stories have disclosed the disturbing discovery of slides and films in the former home of a physician," Dadlez wrote in the letter.

The slides and films were found in a hidden room of a West Hartford home formerly owned by Dr. George Reardon.

Reardon worked at Saint Francis until his privileges were revoked in 1993 after allegations surfaced that he was taking nude photos of underage patients at the hospital.

At the time, Reardon called the sessions with the children part of a study of early maturing teens.

Child Porn Found In Doctor's Former Home

Timeline Of Events:

Nov. 29, 2007: Police make discovery of child pornography public

May 2007: Slides discovered in secret basement room of the former West Hartford home of Dr. George Reardon.

1998: Death of Reardon

1993: State suspends Reardon's medical license amid allegations of child abuse. St. Francis Hospital suspends doctor's privileges.

1987: Complaints of abuse against Reardon spanning four decades begin surfacing to officials.

Complaints Surfaced From:

1980s: Three complaints

1970s: Four complaints

1960s: Four complaints

1950s: Three complaints

Provide tips to West Hartford police:

One victim told Eyewitness News in an exclusive interview that Reardon got parents to sign off on their children's participation.

"I had actually heard him explain it all to my mother, and I had heard my mother tell him that if it would help me or other kids, it was OK with her, but he never got into details of what this study entailed. He never told my mother that he was going to have me undress and take pictures of me or touch me inappropriately. She just thought it was some kind of article he was writing," the alleged victim said.

Officials said that the number of potential victims could be in the hundreds.

When the lawsuit first surfaced earlier in the week, a spokesman for the hospital said that the hospital is doing what it can to assist the investigation.

The hospital also included in Thursday's ad a confidential phone line for anyone who thinks that they may have been victimized by Reardon. The number is 877-288-5774.

The hospital is also offering counseling services for victims.

"Our hearts and prayers go out to anyone who may have suffered from any inappropriate behavior that may have occurred," Dadlez said in the letter.

He said that the hospital is continuing to work with police in the investigation.


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