Baystate doctor charged with possession of child pornography

By SCOTT MERZBACH

Staff Writer

Published: 03-14-2023 4:04 PM

AMHERST — A resident doctor who lives part-time in Amherst and practices at Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield was arrested Tuesday following the FBI’s recent seizure of about 80 devices containing images and videos believed to be child pornography.

Federal agents arrested Dr. Bradford Ferrick, 32, at his Winchester home on a charge of possession of child pornography, according to the U.S. attorney’s office in the District of Massachusetts.

Ferrick made an initial appearance remotely in federal court in Boston and will be detained until another appearance on March 21. Ferrick is already on home confinement restrictions for pending related state charges.

“I can think of no greater fear as a parent or guardian than potential harm coming to your child,” U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins said in a statement announcing the charge against Ferrick. “Today we allege that this doctor, who held a position of trust with access to children, maintained child sexual abuse material. The investigation is active and ongoing.”

Eight of the devices, including multiple hidden cameras and USB storage devices, were found at Ferrick’s Amherst home on Feb. 21. It is alleged that one of these hidden cameras, which was designed to be worn as a bracelet, was found to contain at least two surreptitiously recorded videos of Ferrick administering medical exams. Two minors who investigators believe to be patients could be heard and, at times, partially seen in the videos.

Joseph Bonavolonta, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston Division, said in a statement that Ferrick, with access to children from his rotations at facilities in Greenfield, Deerfield and Springfield, stands accused of “extremely troubling behavior.”

“This is very much an active investigation and we urge anyone with information to contact us,” Bonavolonta said. “Thanks to our close collaboration with our law enforcement partners, we are grateful to have been able to put a stop to Dr. Ferrick’s alleged conduct.”

Chalonda James, a spokesperson for Baystate Health, wrote in an email that Ferrick has been on unpaid administrative leave from Baystate Franklin Medical Center since mid-February.

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“We are cooperating with law enforcement authorities as they proceed with their investigation,” James wrote.

According to the documents used to bring charges against Ferrick, he lived in Syracuse, New York, while attending the State University of New York Upstate Medical University. After graduating from SUNY in 2022, Ferrick began a medical residency last July with Baystate. He was one of five doctors in Baystate Franklin Medical Center’s new family medicine residency program.

The complaint alleges that an initial search of Ferrick’s Winchester residence occurred on Feb. 13, prompted by tips made to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in March 2022 that were forwarded to Massachusetts State Police and then Winchester Police last July. That search turned up about 61 devices, including external hard drives, computers, cellphones, hidden camera systems and SD cards, which investigators allege contained thousands of images and videos of suspected child pornography.

Ferrick was arrested by local and state authorities and released on home confinement after posting bail in Woburn District Court on Feb. 14. The district court imposed a $50,000 cash bail and various conditions of release, including 24-hour home confinement monitored by GPS. Ferrick was released from custody on Feb. 15.

Also on Feb. 14, hidden recording devices were found by investigators in a relative’s home, where two children, ages 2 and 3, live. Those devices included a camera designed to look like a bathroom wall outlet that was discovered by an electronics detection K-9.

On Feb. 17, a second search of Ferrick’s residence in Winchester resulted in the recovery of 11 additional devices by state investigators. A preliminary review of some of the devices seized allegedly revealed images and videos depicting child pornography of victims who appear to be between the ages of 6 and 11 years old.

Ferrick was profiled in a Greenfield Recorder story about the four first-year family medicine residents and a second-year resident who began their tenures at Baystate last July. He said that while he grew up in eastern Massachusetts and went to medical school in New York, the idea of practicing locally after his residency appealed to him.

“I think it’s a fantastic area,” he said, noting that the drive home to visit family “certainly beats” the drive he made when attending school in New York. To be part of the first group of residents was an “amazing opportunity,” he added.

“Residency programs don’t just pop up every year,” Ferrick said. “It’s certainly a big honor, a lot of responsibility.”

His profile on Baystate’s website, as well, notes his areas of interest in medicine.

“I have a strong interest in wellness, self-care and integrative medicine,” Ferrick said. “I enjoy sharing with my patients the positive powerful effects that mindfulness can have on one’s overall health. I value the importance of overall wellness and its role in disease prevention, as well as the importance of skin protection and sun safety all year long.”

Rollins said the public and others with questions, concerns or information pertaining to Ferrick should get in touch with the FBI. An online form to share information is available at bit.ly/4050F5Q.

“As members of law enforcement, the safety of children is our highest priority,” Rollins said. “Together, in close cooperation with the medical facilities where Dr. Ferrick was employed, we will do all that we can to identify the duration and scope of his alleged offenses and proceed accordingly and expeditiously.”

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.]]>