On July 12, Delaware’s Child Advocacy Center became aware of one particular case of child abuse when Dr. Melvin Morse, aged 58, was arrested and charged with third-degree assault after “allegedly pulling his daughter out of a car, dragging her across a gravel driveway and spanking her in their Sussex County home,” according to Corporal Gary Fournier of the Delaware State Police in a statement given to ABC News.
Morse is a pediatrician who finds himself accused of waterboarding his eleven-year-old daughter four times over a period of two years. The daughter, whose name has not been released, reported to a child advocate that her father had held her face under a running faucet, forcing water up her nose, as a form of discipline. This report led to Dr. Morse’s subsequent arrest, along with his wife, Pauline, on Tuesday.
Ironically, Morse appeared on both “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and “Larry King Live” in 2010 discussing his books and research. He is a noted writer on the psychology of near-death experiences in children, and has published two books on the subject; Closer to the Light and Transformed by the Light.
Both he and his wife are facing multiple charges, including two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, four counts of reckless first-degree endangering (for the waterboarding), and a second-degree felony conspiracy charge.
Morse’s attorney stated that “There is always another side to the story” and has stated a concern that a fair trial will be impossible in the county because of the infamous child molestation case of another pediatrician, Earl Bradley. The previous case from Sussex county involved the exploitation, rape, and molestation of more than one hundred children, including some as young as three months. Some have noted that Morse also bears a marked physical resemblance to Bradley.
The eleven-year-old and five-year-old daughters of the Morse couple are in the care of Delaware’s Division of Family Services. The parents have been court ordered to have no contact with each other or the children. Pauline Morse was released on bail, and Melvin Morse is being held on a $14,500 secured bond.
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