A Delaware pediatrician who gained recognition from appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show and Larry King Live has been convicted of abusing his 12-year-old stepdaughter after it was discovered that he was waterboarding her.
According to reports, the then 11-year-old girl ran away from home in July 2012 and told police that he stepfather was abusing and waterboarding her. Melvin L. Morse was arrested and his medical license was immediately taken away.
Morse was known for his fascination with childhood near-death experiences and has even written numerous books on the topic. Police believe that he may have been experimenting on his stepdaughter when he decided to waterboard her, but he was still found guilty of abuse by a jury. According to testimony, Morse abused the young girl in other ways, including making her stand with her arms outstretched for hours, locking her in her room and making her use her toy box as a toilet, and both starving and force feeding her until she vomited.
The girl’s mother Pauline Morse admitted to ignoring ongoing abuse, and last year, she plead guilty to misdemeanor child endangerment and testified against Morse in courtroom proceedings.
Now, after deliberating for six hours, a jury has found Morse to be guilty. His sentencing will take place on April 11 and he could face up to 10 years in prison. The young girl and her sister are currently in foster care but are allowed visitation with their mother.