A Delaware couple faces charges of conspiracy, endangering the welfare of a child and reckless endangerment after allegedly “waterboarding” their daughter as punishment.
On July 21, a neighbor of Dr. Melvin and Pauline Morse called 911 when the Morse’s 11 year old daughter ran to his house and said that Melvin had dragged her by her ankle across their gravel driveway before spanking her. After an arrest on charges of one count third-degree assault and two counts endangering the welfare of a child, Dr. Morse – a pediatrician – posted bond.
This gets worse, so if you’re not up for it – stop reading.
Authorities continued to investigate, and in interviews with the 11 year old daughter yielded information about another punishment: what in this case has been called “waterboarding” – where Melvin Morse would hold the daughter’s face under running water so that it would flow into her nostrils. Morse had also allegedly told his daughter that “she could go five minutes without brain damage,” and told her he would wrap her in a blanket and hold her under the faucet so she couldn’t move. The daughter told authorities that this “waterboarding” happened at least four times within three years. When she would go outside and cry afterward, Morse would follow her and hold her mouth and nose closed until she’d collapse.
Melvin’s wife, Pauline Morse, allegedly knew about and witnessed these acts of abuse, which made her a conspirator.
The Morse family also has a 6 year old daughter, who shows no obvious signs of physical abuse – but saw her sister receive the punishments. Pauline Morse has five children total – and the 11 year old was Melvin Morse’s step-daughter. Three of Pauline’s children are grown.
Delaware Online reports that “the state Attorney General’s Office on Wednesday filed a motion for the emergency suspension of Morse’s medical license.”
Right now, Melvin Morse is being held for failing to post bail. Pauline Morse, however, was released on bail.
Melvin Morse has penned books in the past on near-death experiences – of children. He’s appeared on 20/20 and The Oprah Winfrey Show in the past.
If he is indeed guilty of these terrible acts, Melvin Morse will hopefully have a couple of his own near-death experiences in prison.
Both children are currently under the care of the Delaware Division of Family Services.