Melvin Morse (The News Journal)
By Douglas Stanglin, USA TODAY
(USA TODAY) - A Delaware pediatrician has been charged with allegedly "waterboarding" his 11-year-old daughter on four occasions while her mother stood by, The News Journal reports.
Dr. Melvin Morse, 58, and his wife Pauline, 40, of Georgetown, Del., are facing several felony charges, including first-degree reckless endangering, the newspaper reports, quoting state police spokesman Master Cpl. Gary Founier.
Morse, who is co-author of a book about the near-death experiences of children and was employed at a private pediatric practice in Milton, Del., was also charged with third-degree assault.
The police investigation was triggered July 12 after police responded to a 911 call by a neighbor who allegedly reported Morse grabbing his daughter by the ankle and dragging her across a gravel driveway.
According to court records, the 11-year-old told detectives and social workers that her father had disciplined her by what he called "waterboarding" on at least four times between May 2009 and May 2011.
She said he would hold her face under running water, causing the water to fill her nostrils and over her face.
The incidents allegedly took place at the kitchen sink, bathroom sink and bathtub faucet, according to court records.
The daughter told police she "could never understand what she did to be punished" and felt scared.
The girl's younger sister was also interviewed and told social workers she saw this happen to her sister, but that "it has never been done to her because she is too young for it," the newspaper reports.
The two children are in now the care of the state Division of Family Services, state police said.
The state Attorney General's Office on Wednesday filed a motion for the emergency suspension of Morse's medical license, according to the article by The News Journal's Terri Sanginiti, Esteban Parra and James Fisher.