Trial Begins for Del. Doctor Accused of 'Waterboarding' Child - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Trial Begins for Del. Doctor Accused of 'Waterboarding' Child

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Dr. Melvin L. Morse Dr. Melvin L. Morse

GEORGETOWN, Del.- There was an abundance of action at the Sussex County Courthouse on Monday as jury selection kicked off for Melvin L. Morse. The 60-year-old former Milton pediatrician, who has appeared on national television to discuss his research involving near-death experiences with children, is charged with endangering the life of his 11-year old daughter, who allegedly told investigators she was subjected to "waterboarding."

There were about 200 potential jurors at the event, and by the end of the day, that was cut down to a jury. Over the next couple of weeks, the jurors will be responsible for deciding the fate of Morse. 

Morse was arrested in 2012 for allegedly dragging his daughter by the ankle across their gravel driveway four days before. About a month after the arrest, the daughter told the Child Advocacy Center that her father had waterboarded her on multiple occasions. 

There was a quiet stir at the beginning of the trial as the hundreds of potential jurors talked about the accusations. Inside a private room, the judge as well as the attorneys from both sides questioned the potential jurors, looking for biases. 

Morse's lawyer has maintained from the beginning that his client is innocent, arguing that the accusations are false. His attorney did not comment to WBOC. 

Shernell Perry of Millsboro said she has five children, all of whom were at times treated by Morse when he was a practicing pediatrician. She said she doesn't know whether the man is guilty, but said either way she is hoping for justice. 

"If he has done this," she said. "He should have jail time. He should suffer the consequences of whatever they give to him. If  he did it." 

After the selection process, the court adjourned, and will resume this trial on Tuesday morning.

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