NEWS

Pediatrician accused of waterboarding daughter, 11

08/09/2012 11:43 EDT | Updated 10/09/2012 05:12 EDT
A Delaware pediatrician and his wife have been arrested after their 11-year-old daughter accused her father of “waterboarding” her, state police say.

The girl told police that her father, Dr. Melvin Morse, 58, would hold her under a faucet and force water up her nose, according to a CNN report.

Pauline Morse, 40, the girl’s mother, did nothing to stop the abuse, which happened at least four times over a two-year period, police said.

The doctor is the author of a book about near-death experiences in children and was interviewed about the subject by CNN’s Larry King.

In July Morse was accused of dragging his daughter by the ankle across a gravel driveway and spanking her at the family home in Georgetown. The girl was interviewed after her father was arrested at that time, and it was then that she reported the punishment her father called “waterboarding,” police said.

Morse and his wife were arrested on Aug. 7 and charged with reckless endangerment, conspiracy and endangering the welfare of a child, police said.

The doctor remains in custody, but his wife has been released on bail. The 11-year-old and her five-year-old sister are being looked after by family services, while their parents have been ordered to have no contact with them.

The Delaware News Journal reported that in court documents the girl said her father told her “she could go five minutes without brain damage” during the waterboarding punishment.

The girl said her father would "sometimes look away while he did it and (redacted) would become afraid that he would lose track of time and she would die," according to the documents.

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