A Delaware pediatrician who is a recognized researcher in near-death experiences in children has been accused of holding his young daughter's face under a faucet -- an act he called waterboarding, according to officials -- while the girl's mother allegedly watched.
Officials in Georgetown, Del., arrested Dr. Melvin Morse and his wife Pauline at their home on Monday and charged them with reckless endangerment, conspiracy and endangering the welfare of a child.
The charges stem from a July 12 domestic assault incident in which Morse was accused of grabbing his 11-year-old daughter by the ankles and dragging her across the driveway into the house, where he then spanked her, according to WCAU-TV.
Officials arrested Morse a few days later and charged him with endangering the welfare of a child, as well as assault. After posting $750 secured bail, he was released.
Investigators said that the 11-year-old was brought to the Child Advocacy Center and interviewed on Aug. 6.
Police told WBOC-TV that during the questioning, the girl claimed that for two years beginning in May 2009, on at least four occasions, her father disciplined her in a manner he called "waterboarding," where he held her face under a running faucet, "causing the water to go up her nose and all over her face."
Although the victim's mother, Pauline, reportedly saw at least some of these alleged incidents, officials tell WPVI-TV that she failed to stop her husband from performing the act.
They were both arraigned and Melvin was committed to the Sussex Correctional Institution on a $14,500 secured bond. Pauline was released on a $14,500 unsecured bond.
Both the victim and her 5-year-old sister are now in the care of Division of Family Services, police told WTXF-TV.
Morse runs an organization called the Institute for the Scientific Study of Consciousness and has been interviewed on the subject of children's near-death experiences.
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