A former pediatrician recognized for paranormal science, research, and near-death experiences concerning children was sentenced to three years in prison Friday for waterboarding his stepdaughter by holding the child’s head in a sink. The child was daughter of his longtime companion.
Sixty-year-old Melvin Morse was sentenced by a judge to serve two years on probation after completing time in prison. Morse was also given simultaneous probation sentences for additional charges of assault and endangerment. Morse’s request for compassion by defense attorney Joe Hurley was rejected. Hurley asked for leniency stating Morse had cancer would likely need thyroid surgery. The judge assured the attorney Morse’s medical needs would be treated. He also said he felt the defendant deserved more than a 15-month sentence for reckless child endangerment.
While waiting for sentencing Morse turned and apologized to the now 12-year-old girl, telling he was sorry and the situation was not her fault.
The child and her mother testified against Morse, revealing that he would use waterboarding as a form of punishment. Morse’s attorney tried unsuccessfully to suggest that waterboarding was a term his client used as a joke when he was referring to washing the girl’s hair. Waterboarding is a torture tactic used by interrogators and is described as a simulated drowning. These leaves people to why Morse’s sentence was so light.
Morse was a pediatrician, but his medical license was suspended upon his arrest and has since expired. He wrote numerous books and articles whose on near-death experiences and paranormal science relating to children. Morse appeared on television shows like Oprah and Larry to talk about findings. He was also included in an episode of Unsolved Mysteries and in landed an article inside Rolling Stone.
Morse repudiated any police reports that he might have been conducting experiments on his step-daughter. The judge felt that Morse was not experimenting on her, and his actions were perceived as manipulative and controlling in his abuse of a susceptible child.
The girl ran away looking for safety in July 2012, a day after she said Morse gripped her by her ankle and dragged her across the cement into their home. Once inside she was whooped told that she would be hurt worse the following day. The police were called and the waterboarding accusation came out during the investigation. This is what ultimately led to the pediatrician being sentenced to time in prison.
The victim has since been placed into foster care. Upon hearing the sentence her foster-mother did a victory dance and said she was happy that the child had been vindicated.
The abuse the child suffered at the hands of the deranged pediatrician included waterboarding, force feeding or starvation, and she is glad he has been sentenced to time in prison. A therapist who had been working with the girl bought a letter to court from the victim. In the letter the child stated the doctor needed to feel what it was like to be in prison, and that she was the prisoner when she was with him.
By Sarah Wright