Police: Father was 'waterboarding' child

GEORGETOWN, Del. - August 8, 2012

Melvin L. Morse, 58, and Pauline L. Morse, 40, of the 20000 block of Lewes-Georgetown Highway in Georgetown, were arrested on Tuesday.

The couple has two daughters, an 11-year-old and a 5-year-old, police said.

Police confirm to Action News that Melvin Morse is a pediatrician.

The investigation began back in July when police were notified of a domestic assault incident in which Melvin Morse allegedly grabbed the 11-year-old by and ankle and dragged her across their gravel driveway.

Morse was later arrested and released after posting bail.

Then, on August 6th, police say the 11-year-old was brought to the Child Advocacy Center where she told detectives that, over a two year period, she was disciplined by her father by what he called "waterboarding." 

According to police, the girl said Melvin Morse would hold her face under a running facet causing the water to go up her nose and all over her face.  This happened at least four times, police said.

Authorities also said that the victim's mother, Pauline Morse, witnessed a few of these incidents and failed to stop them.

Melvin and Pauline Morse are charged with Reckless Endangerment and Endangering the Welfare of a Child, among other charges.

Neither Melvin nor Pauline Morse is allowed to have contact with each other or the children.

Both were released on $14,500 bond.

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