A Delaware pediatrician who has appeared on TV to discuss the paranormal and near-death experiences, has been accused by his young daughter of "waterboarding" her on several occasions.
The 11-year-old girl, who was not named, told authorities that her father, Dr. Melvin Morse, who was arrested on Tuesday, held her down under a running faucet and made her feel like she was drowning. However, her father's attorney has said the accusations are entirely unfounded, the Standard-Examiner reported.
"Whatever's being described is not waterboarding," said attorney Joe Hurley. "I think that's an attention-getter. I'm not sure where that came from or how that developed."
Dr. Morse's medical license has been suspended, and he and his wife Pauline Morse are facing several felony charges. The Dover pediatrician is famous for appearing on TV shows such as "Larry King Live" and the "The Oprah Winfrey Show," where he has talked about his books and articles on paranormal science and near-death experiences.
The 58-year-old doctor was actually out on bail on misdemeanor charges for allegedly assaulting his children when he was arrested on Tuesday for this new charge. According to reports, Morse had dragged his 11-year-old daughter across a gravel driveway before taking her inside the house and spanking her. In a later police interview, the girl claimed that her father had also been waterboarding her.
Morse's charges also include making terroristic threats after he allegedly threatened to kill an elderly man in May – although the charge was dropped a week after it was filed, with a spokesman for the attorney general's office declining to comment.
Hurley, Mose's attorney, insisted, however, that the child had made such accusations before in the past and had "opposition issues." The girl had apparently claimed that a half-sibling was abusing her, before later admitting to have lied about the situation just so she could get the half-sibling to leave the house.
"If you are media please stop coming to my house," Pauline Morse has said. "I do not wish to talk. I am extremely shy and I'm very upset and want to just be alone so I can gather myself together." She and her husband face a preliminary hearing on Aug. 16.
Dr. Morse's website is filled with various articles and YouTube videos discussing links between spiritual and scientific experiences.