Delaware doctor accused of waterboarding stepdaughter goes on trial


SLM
+1
#1
Delaware doctor accused of waterboarding stepdaughter goes on trial




Pauline and Dr. Melvin Morse have been charged with waterboarding their 11-year-old daughter by Delaware police. (SUPPLIED)


Lacey Johnson, Reuters

Jan 28, 2014 , Last Updated: 2:59 PM ET

GEORGETOWN - A Delaware pediatrician force-fed his 11-year-old stepdaughter, forbade her from using the bathroom and used "waterboarding" in attempts to discipline the child, a prosecutor said during opening statements on Tuesday.
Dr. Melvin Morse's defense lawyer told jurors in the child endangerment trial that the girl has a long history of lying to adults, including to counselors who have documented the dishonesty.
Morse, 60, faces charges of endangering the welfare of a child, reckless endangerment and conspiracy. He was arrested in 2012 after the girl, then 11, told authorities she had been waterboarded on four occasions.
The prosecutor, Melanie Withers, said he held the girl face-up under a running kitchen faucet until she was unable to breathe. Morse "called it waterboarding," Withers said.
Defense lawyer Joe Hurley said his client was joking when he used the term "waterboarding" and that the incidents had been attempts to wash the girl's hair - an activity she hated.
Waterboarding is a controversial technique typically associated with the interrogation of terrorism suspects and involves forcibly holding a cloth over a person's face and flooding it with water to simulate drowning.
Morse shook his head as Withers told the jury at Sussex County Superior Court about his "bizarre, hostile" treatment of the girl, who is the daughter of Morse's now-estranged wife.
"The defendant controlled every single aspect of that child's life, including whether she could draw breath," Withers said.
Withers said the abuse included force-feeding her until she vomited, forbidding her from using the bathroom until she soiled herself, waking her up for school by throwing cold water on her face and dragging her down steps.
Police were summoned to the family home in Georgetown, Delaware, after the girl went to a neighbor. A police statement identifying her as Morse's daughter said that she had refused to get out of the family car and Morse dragged her out by the ankles over a gravel driveway.
Morse's estranged wife, Pauline Morse, who witnessed the incidents but did not intervene, also was arrested. She pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges in May and has agreed to testify against Morse.
Morse, who heads the Institute for the Scientific Study of Consciousness, has appeared on "Oprah," "Good Morning America" and "Larry King Live" on CNN. He is the author of a best-selling book on near-death experiences, "Closer to the Light."



Delaware doctor accused of waterboarding stepdaughter goes on trial (external - login to view)


OMG. He's a freaking pediatrician, imagine if you'd taken your kids to this guy?
 
Tecumsehsbones
+1
#2
But waterboarding is harmless. The government told us so.
 
Sal
+1
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

Delaware doctor accused of waterboarding stepdaughter goes on trial (external - login to view)


OMG. He's a freaking pediatrician, imagine if you'd taken your kids to this guy?

yeah when I got to that part I swear my heart skipped a beat...the other thing is, when I saw him, he looks familiar...I don't know if I've seen him all sanitized for tv or not but damn sam...he looks like someone I know.

If his wife pleaded guilty and is testifying to save her wicked a zz there's a good chance he did it.

Love those hair washes where they hold your face under the running water whilst they rinse... soooooooooooo relaxing when followed by a head massage.
 
SLM
+2
#4  Top Rated Post
Quote: Originally Posted by SalView Post

yeah when I got to that part I swear my heart skipped a beat...the other thing is, when I saw him, he looks familiar...I don't know if I've seen him all sanitized for tv or not but damn sam...he looks like someone I know.

Well it says he's been on Oprah.

Quote:

If his wife pleaded guilty and is testifying to save her wicked a zz there's a good chance he did it.

You know, as a mom, I almost place more blame upon her. It's bad enough for an adult to not stand up for a child, but to not stand up for your child? She's probably "a victim" too, I know, but nope, don't buy that, can't. Don't care if that makes me "insensitive" either. A parent is prepared to die for their kids, they don't turn their back on them.
 
Sal
+1
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

Well it says he's been on Oprah.

You know, as a mom, I almost place more blame upon her. It's bad enough for an adult to not stand up for a child, but to not stand up for your child? She's probably "a victim" too, I know, but nope, don't buy that, can't. Don't care if that makes me "insensitive" either. A parent is prepared to die for their kids, they don't turn their back on them.

you know I gotta say I agree, a kid is an innocent, they look to an adult to protect them and they have the right to do so....not to fulfill that obligation is akin to murder. Their little spirit gets snuffed out...no one to trust...terrible.
 
SLM
+1
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by SalView Post

you know I gotta say I agree, a kid is an innocent, they look to an adult to protect them and they have the right to do so....not to fulfill that obligation is akin to murder. Their little spirit gets snuffed out...no one to trust...terrible.

I can completely understand, and empathize, with someone, woman or a man, who is so low, has so little self-esteem, that they succumb to abuse. I can buy that. But when it's your kid, I don't know, even just thinking about it, something just "kicks in" with me. I will never understand a parent, mom or dad, that stands by while their child is being abused. They are far from innocent victims, even if they too are victims of abuse themselves.
 
Sal
+1
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

I can completely understand, and empathize, with someone, woman or a man, who is so low, has so little self-esteem, that they succumb to abuse. I can buy that. But when it's your kid, I don't know, even just thinking about it, something just "kicks in" with me. I will never understand a parent, mom or dad, that stands by while their child is being abused. They are far from innocent victims, even if they too are victims of abuse themselves.

honestly I don't know what to think, I know all of the psychology behind abuse and then abusing I don't know what I would be like had I been abused, I am a pleaser and I like harmony almost at any cost, and I don't have kids....but if someone did a thing to my cat they would be out of my life so fast their head would spin ... so I can't imagine not willingly dying or killing for something I had given birth to... actually old people too ... it makes me go someplace dark inside...

but like I said, I have never experienced abuse so I don't know what it would do to me, I hope that I would snap out of it and protect anything that needed protecting..anything, anyone
 
L Gilbert
#8
The punishment should fit the crime here. Eye for an eye sorta thing.
 
spaminator
#9
Girl testifies stepdad doc 'waterboarded' her for vomiting milk
Lacey Johnson, Reuters
First posted: Tuesday, February 04, 2014 02:23 PM EST | Updated: Tuesday, February 04, 2014 11:29 PM EST
GEORGETOWN - The stepdaughter of a well-known Delaware doctor accused of waterboarding her as punishment admitted on Tuesday that she had lied under oath about being molested by a family member in 2010.
Dr. Melvin Morse, a best-selling author on near-death experiences, faces child endangerment charges. He was arrested in 2012 after the girl, then 11, told authorities that she had been waterboarded on four occasions.
During cross-examination, Morse's defense team played a video of the girl telling a counselor how her half-sister, then 16, had recently molested her for a second time.
"That was a lie under oath, wasn't it?" asked Morse's attorney, Joe Hurley.
"Yes," replied the girl, now 12, who was cross-examined for more than three hours. "The first time it was the truth, but then the second time that she did, it was a lie."
The girl said she did not want her half-sister, who was sent to a juvenile detention center for molesting her in 2007, to return to live with the family.
When the state's prosecuting attorney, Melanie Withers, asked why the girl had lied about being molested by her half-sister, she replied: "I told them that because Melvin had encouraged me to."
She also admitted to telling a therapist that Morse had never really slapped her, but that she had gotten the idea from talking to her half-sister.
Earlier on Tuesday, the girl said Morse, 60, had waterboarded her as punishment for vomiting milk.
Waterboarding, typically associated with the interrogation of terrorism suspects, in general involves holding a cloth over a person's face and flooding it with water to simulate drowning.
Morse told her she could survive without air for "five minutes without brain damage," she said in a video when questioned at a children's advocacy center in August 2012.
"I thought, what if he lost track of time or something, and I would die or something," she said.
Prosecutor Withers said in opening arguments last week that the abuse included holding the girl face-up under a running kitchen faucet until she was unable to breathe.
Hurley said at the start of the trial that Morse was joking when he used the term "waterboarding" to describe what he was doing to the girl. He was trying to wash the girl's hair, an activity she hated, Hurley had said.
The girl denied that she disliked having her hair washed.
In the video, the girl said Morse also pulled her hair, pushed her against walls, hit her with a broom and suffocated her with his hands and through waterboarding.
Hurley has said the girl, the daughter of Morse's now-estranged wife, had a history of lying to adults, including counselors.
The girl's mother, Pauline Morse, was also arrested. She pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges in May and agreed to testify against Morse.
Morse heads the Institute for the Scientific Study of Consciousness and has appeared on "Oprah" and "Good Morning America."
During a recess in the trial, defense attorney Kevin Tray called the girls' testimony "simply not believable."
Girl testifies stepdad doc 'waterboarded' her for vomiting milk | World | News | Toronto Sun (external - login to view)
 
spaminator
#10
Delaware doctor denied stepdaughter food, bathroom use: mother
Lacey Johnson, REUTERS
First posted: Thursday, February 06, 2014 09:22 PM EST | Updated: Thursday, February 06, 2014 09:33 PM EST
GEORGETOWN, DEL. - A well-known Delaware doctor would punish his stepdaughter by making her stand for hours with her arms outstretched, depriving her of food and forbidding her from using the bathroom, the girl's mother told a court on Thursday.
Pauline Morse testified that she refrained from intervening in order not to undermine her celebrated husband, Dr. Melvin Morse, a best-selling author on near-death experiences.
Melvin Morse, 60, is standing trial on child endangerment charges. He was arrested in 2012 after the girl, then 11, told authorities that she had been waterboarded on four occasions.
Pauline Morse told the court that she saw Morse holding her daughter under a faucet in the kitchen. When she appeared, Morse put down the girl, who started coughing and crying.
"He called it 'washing her hair,' but I knew it wasn't washing her hair because there was no soap or anything," she said. "It didn't occur to me what was happening."
Waterboarding, typically associated with the interrogation of terrorism suspects, in general involves holding a cloth over a person's face and flooding it with water to simulate drowning.
During cross-examination, defense attorney Joe Hurley argued that Pauline Morse was only pretending to be intimidated by her husband. He displayed text messages she sent to Morse calling him a "weenie" and criticizing him.
Under questioning, Pauline Morse was unable to corroborate many of the details her daughter gave during her testimony. She also said she had lied under oath about the girl's biological father being abusive in order to get a restraining order against him.
"I think the theme running throughout (the girl's) testimony and Pauline's testimony is they have lied to police, prosecutors and everyone involved in the case," defense attorney Kevin Tray said after the session.
The girl, not identified because she is a minor, admitted during cross-examination on Tuesday that she had lied under oath about being molested by a family member in 2010.
Pauline Morse was also arrested for suspected child abuse. She pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges in May and agreed to testify against Morse. She had faced 25 years if convicted on child endangerment and other charges.
Shortly after Melvin Morse was arrested and charged, he and his wife "talked about ways of trying to cover it up" while he was home on bail, Pauline Morse testified.
Melvin Morse heads the Institute for the Scientific Study of Consciousness and has appeared on "Oprah" and "Good Morning America."
Delaware doctor denied stepdaughter food, bathroom use: mother | World | News | Toronto Sun (external - login to view)
 
spaminator
#11
Delaware doctor in waterboarding trial admits to injuring stepdaughter
Lacey Johnson, REUTERS
First posted: Tuesday, February 11, 2014 03:56 PM EST | Updated: Tuesday, February 11, 2014 06:23 PM EST
GEORGETOWN, Del. - A Delaware pediatrician accused of waterboarding his 11-year-old stepdaughter admitted in court on Tuesday to injuring the girl by dragging her over a gravel driveway in what he described as a moment of carelessness.
Dr. Melvin Morse, a best-selling author on near-death experiences, is standing trial on child endangerment charges dating back to July 2012 when police were called to his home over the driveway incident.
His stepdaughter, 11 at the time, told authorities that Morse, 60, had waterboarded her on four occasions. He has denied this during his trial, now in its third week.
"Why did you drag her out of the car by her ankle?" state prosecutor Melanie Withers asked during four and a half hours of cross-examination.
"I just reached in there and grabbed her," replied Morse, who has appeared on "Oprah" and "Good Morning America." "I did pull her out of the car roughly, carelessly."
When the girl, whose name has been withheld due to her age, began screaming and kicking, Morse dropped her and dragged her across the gravel driveway, he recalled.
"I'm sure I put marks on her," he said. "I was careless."
Morse denied allegations that he prevented his stepdaughter from bathing, suffocated her and kept her in her room without access to a bathroom.
He said he "berated" the girl to encourage her to eat more, but never force fed her, as she and her mother have testified.
"I believe we had a loving home," said Morse. He described the girl, now 12, as "deeply troubled" and in constant therapy.
Withers also asked Morse why he had recorded videos of himself lecturing the girl and showed the Sussex County Superior Court photographs of the child crying, which she said Morse had taken.
"Are you proud of the fact, now, that you took them?" asked Withers.
"I'm ashamed," said Morse, who also admitted to slapping the girl more than once. "I'm not a perfect person by any means."
On Monday, Morse denied waterboarding the girl, the daughter of his now-estranged wife Pauline Morse, and said he had only been trying to wash her hair. Last week, the girl testified that she had feared for her life during the process.
Typically associated with the interrogation of terrorism suspects, waterboarding in general involves holding a cloth over a person's face and flooding it with water to simulate drowning.
Morse said many of the parenting techniques presented as evidence against him, including the video recordings and a discipline journal, were inspired by advice during family therapy sessions.
Under cross-examination by defense attorneys last week, the girl admitted to having said in previous testimony that her older half-sister had sexually abused her twice, when there had been only one instance of molestation.
Delaware doctor in waterboarding trial admits to injuring stepdaughter | World | News | Toronto Sun (external - login to view)
 

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