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Waterboarding Charges Against Delaware Doctor Who Tortured Young Daughter

Posted by on Aug. 9, 2012 at 12:55 PM
  • 19 Replies

Waterboarding Charges Against Delaware Doctor Who Tortured Young Daughter

PHOTO: Melvin and Pauline Morse, were arrested for endangering the welfare of their child.

A Delaware pediatrician who writes about near-death experiences of children and has appeared on "Oprah" is accused of waterboarding his 11-year-old daughter for two years, according to Delaware State Police.

Dr. Melvin Morse, 58, and his wife Pauline, 40, were arrested Tuesday, a day after their daughter told a child advocate that her father had "waterboarded" her four times between May 2009 and May 2011 while her mother watched and did nothing to stop the abuse, Cpl. Gary Fournier told ABC News.

Delaware's Child Advocacy Center first became aware of the girl, whose name has not been disclosed, following a July 12 incident in which Morse was charged with third-degree assault for allegedly pulling his daughter out of a car, dragging her across a gravel driveway and spanking her in their Sussex County home, Fournier said.

The girl reported that incident to a neighbor who called police, Fournier said. Morse was later released from custody after he posted $750 in bail.

She later told the child advocate about the alleged waterboarding, police said, triggering the parents' arrest on Tuesday.

The Morses each face two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, a second-degree felony conspiracy charge and four counts of felony first-degree reckless endangering for the alleged waterboarding incidents.

As a method of disciplining his daughter, Morse held her face under a running faucet, causing the water to go up her nose, Fournier said.

Melvin Morse is the author of two books on near-death experiences, "Closer to the Light" and "Transformed by the Light." He appeared on the "Oprah Winfrey Show" and "Larry King Live" in 2010 to discuss his research on the psychological effects of being on the verge of death.

Melvin Morse's attorney, Joe Hurley, said he did not yet know enough about the case to comment on it, but said "There is always another side to the story."

Hurley said he was concerned that Morse would not get a fair trial because of the notorious 2010 case of Earl Bradley, also a pediatrician in Sussex County, who was convicted of molesting, raping and exploiting more than 100 of his patients, including some as young as 3-months-old. Hurley said Morse bears a striking physical resemblance to Bradley, who is thought by some to be the worst pedophile in American history and whose face was plastered all over local and regional newspapers for months during his trial.

"It was the case of the century," Hurley said. "The chances of finding 12 people in that county who could be fair jurors for this case are non-existent."

The Morses' daughter and her 5-year-old sister are in the care of the state's Division of Family Services.

Their parents have been ordered not to have contact with each other or their children. Pauline Morse was released from Sussex Correctional Institute on $14,500 unsecured bail and could not be reached for comment today.

Her husband is also being held there on $14,500 secured bond. Jason Miller, a spokesman for the Delaware attorney general's office, said the state issued an emergency petition to suspend Morse's medical license Wednesday.

The Morses will appear in court next week for a preliminary hearing.

by on Aug. 9, 2012 at 12:55 PM
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Replies (1-10):
MIA0223
by Member on Aug. 9, 2012 at 12:57 PM
I have never heard of this!
What's wrong with pediatricians in my county???
I swear I haven't take DD to a pediatrician in 2 years since the Bradley stuff came out. Stupid Beebe hospital recommended him to me knowing he had a history and they wouldn't let him in the hospital without a chaperone! But they still recommended him to parents!
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mandiNthomas
by on Aug. 9, 2012 at 1:00 PM
Wow. Sad.
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Bmama1
by Member on Aug. 9, 2012 at 1:02 PM
1 mom liked this
What a sick fuck! And his wife! Looking at there pics, I just wanna punch them in there face. And I've never punched anyone.
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KarenaRae
by on Aug. 9, 2012 at 3:07 PM
They look like terrible parwnts. now ive been taught to NOT jusdge a book by its cover but the atory ia right there in black and white no opening of the book needed....
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mikiemom
by Ruby Member on Aug. 9, 2012 at 3:17 PM

How horrible - it sounds like he was experimenting with his child.

kansasmom1978
by Bronze Member on Aug. 9, 2012 at 3:19 PM

I am sure there is more to the story and there is always the possibilty the girl is lieing.

andiemomo3
by Andie on Aug. 9, 2012 at 3:31 PM
Quoting MIA0223:

I have never heard of this!
What's wrong with pediatricians in my county???
I swear I haven't take DD to a pediatrician in 2 years since the Bradley stuff came out. Stupid Beebe hospital recommended him to me knowing he had a history and they wouldn't let him in the hospital without a chaperone! But they still recommended him to parents!

That's awful! I wonder if the hospital has been held libel for any of the cases?

On topic - I am all for punishing a child. No doubt. But to do it with water boarding is sick. :-(
andiemomo3
by Andie on Aug. 9, 2012 at 3:35 PM
I do wonder though, at 11 years old, if the child is overdoing the stories at all? 11 is old enough to hold grudges against Mom and Dad and use the state as a way to get back at them. Without understanding the implications of what you are doing. And even if she were to retract her words at this point, she wouldn't be believed. Simply because child services would assume that she is trying to make things better.

I'm playing devil's advocate here. Especially since the state and county are probably overly sensitive right now after the case of the other pediatrician.
JakeandEmmasMom
by Platinum Member on Aug. 9, 2012 at 3:38 PM

 IDK...My Spidey Senses are tingling.  I think there is a lot more to this story.  It seems odd to me that she would immediately tell her neighbor about being spanked, but kept quiet about being waterboarded for years.  I'll wait for more information before forming an opinion.

annabl1970
by Platinum Member on Aug. 9, 2012 at 3:46 PM
I agree with you. I want to know parent's side of the story. There are too many cases when teens use system to get back to parents.


Quoting andiemomo3:

I do wonder though, at 11 years old, if the child is overdoing the stories at all? 11 is old enough to hold grudges against Mom and Dad and use the state as a way to get back at them. Without understanding the implications of what you are doing. And even if she were to retract her words at this point, she wouldn't be believed. Simply because child services would assume that she is trying to make things better.



I'm playing devil's advocate here. Especially since the state and county are probably overly sensitive right now after the case of the other pediatrician.

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