Doctor accused of abuse appears in court

A pediatrician accused of “waterboarding” his stepdaughter is scheduled for a preliminary hearing in Sussex County Court of Common Pleas in Georgetown.

Dr. Melvin Morse is accused of felony child endangerment for allegedly holding the girl under a running faucet of water.  In documents obtained by the Associated Press Tuesday, police said Dr. Melvin Morse brought the girl “to a possible near-death state from the simulation of drowning.”

In an affidavit seeking permission to search Morse’s computers, police say the waterboarding would fall into his area of study. Morse has received nationwide attention for his research into near-death experiences involving children.  Based on his work involving children’s out-of-body experiences, police have suggested he may have been experimenting on his daughter.  

Joe Hurley is an attorney for Morse. He says the idea that Morse was experimenting on his own daughter is “the sheerest of speculation.”

 

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Help us get to 100% of our membership goal to support the reporters covering our region, the producers bringing you great local programs and the educators who teach all our children.