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Jury examines child endangerment case against Melvin Morse, former Delaware pediatrician

By Alicia Mayle,

In a child endangerment case that has taken weeks to layout because of snow storms, and other excuses made by the defense, a jury has now started to decide whether to charge Melvin Morse, a former Delaware pediatrician, with one count of third-degree assault, three counts of first-degree reckless endangerment and four counts of child endangerment.

The 11-year-old daughter of Morse’s wife, Pauline, ran away from her house in August of 2012 to a nearby police station, and accused her father of forcing her face under water.

According to Reuters, Morse took the stand in his own defense, telling the jury that he only tried to wash her hair because his wife couldn’t do it since the 11 year old put up a fight. Morse later said, "I did say to her, 'I'm not waterboarding you. This isn't some kind of torture. I just want your hair to be clean.” The defendant also cited that he had only done it five times.

The girl’s mother was also arrested for alleged child abuse. In May, she pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge, and testified against her husband.

The former pediatrician’s defense called the mother and daughter weak witnesses saying, "For whatever reason, she exaggerates and is unable to tell the truth. And this is the state's main witness,” reported USA Today.

The defense was referring to an incident when social workers interviewed the girl about whether her older half-sister was sexually abusing her. The young girl later recanted her story.

 
 

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