GEORGETOWN, Delaware (Reuters) - A Delaware jury found a prominent pediatrician and best-selling author guilty on Thursday of endangering his stepdaughter in a trial featuring testimony that he subjected the girl to a form of waterboarding to punish her.
Dr. Melvin Morse, an author on near-death experiences who has appeared on “Oprah” and “Good Morning America,” could face up to 10 years in prison.
Morse went on trial in late January on charges of child endangerment dating back to July 2012, when his stepdaughter was 11 years old. Prosecutors accused him of preventing the girl from bathing, suffocating her and keeping her in her room without access to a bathroom.
Morse was found guilty of six of eight counts, including third-degree assault, endangering the welfare of a child and first-degree reckless endangerment, a felony.
His stepdaughter, now 12, told authorities that Morse, 60, had physically abused her, including waterboarding her on four occasions. Morse’s lawyers argued that the girl and her mother, who testified for the prosecution, lied about the abuse.
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.
Reporting by Lacey Johnson; Writing by Ian Simpson; Editing by Lisa Shumaker