Plea offer in Delaware waterboarding case

Melvin and Pauline Morse

May 18, 2013 6:04:56 AM PDT
The mother of a Delaware child who was allegedly waterboarded by her stepfather has agreed to plead guilty and testify against him.

A public defender representing Pauline Morse says she reached a plea agreement with prosecutors Friday.

The agreement calls for her to plead guilty to three misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a child and to cooperate with prosecutors and testify against Dr. Melvin Morse.

According to an affidavit in 2012, Dr. Melvin Morse brought the girl "to a possible near death state from the simulation of drowning."

"This 'waterboarding' that he has performed ... would fall into the area of study he practices," police said in the affidavit. "It is logical that he has therefore written about and/or researched the topic of 'waterboarding.'"

Melvin Morse, who has researched near-death experiences involving children, has pleaded not guilty to felony child endangerment and misdemeanor assault charges.

He has denied police claims.

A trial for Melvin Morse is scheduled to start June 10. His attorney did not immediately return messages seeking comment Friday.