A former pediatrician has been sentenced to five years in prison by a Delaware judge for waterboarding his 11-year-old stepdaughter.
Superior Court Judge Richard F. Stokes issued the sentence to Melvin L. Morse, also ruling that the former doctor could be put on probation after serving three years of his sentence.
According to the USA Today, Morse was arrested in August 2012 after forcing his stepdaughter’s head under running water in order to stimulate drowning as a punishment for her running away from home. Morse was subsequently charged and found guilty of six separate offenses, including first-degree reckless endangerment.
During Morse’s trial, prosecutors alleged that Morse had a history of abuse aside from the waterboarding incident in regards to his stepdaughter.
Waterboarding is a torture method controversially used by U.S. federal agencies as an interrogation technique. Although many have supported the tactic as a viable method of interrogation, others claim that it is one of the harshest forms of torture available in modern society. Former waterboarding supporter Matthew Muller, for instance, changed his mind after directly experiencing the practice.
“It is way worse than I thought it would be, and that’s no joke. It is such an odd feeling to have water poured down your nose with your head back...It was instantaneous...and I don’t want to say this: absolutely torture,” Muller said.