Defense Questions Girl in Former Pediatrician's Trial - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Defense Questions Girl in Former Pediatrician's Waterboarding Trial

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GEORGETOWN, Del.- Tuesday marked day five of the trial for Melvin Morse, the former Milton pediatrician accused of waterboarding his step-daughter. The 12-year-old was called to the stand Monday and was questioned by the prosecution. 

On Tuesday, the defense had their turn, and grilled the young girl for hours.

Morse is facing charges of endangering the welfare of a child. He was arrested in July, after the girl, then 11, ran away from home. Morse and his attorney Joseph Hurley have maintained that the accusation is a lie. 

"Cross-examination is a crippling blow for them," said Hurley as he walked in with Morse to question the girl.

On Monday, the girl told the jury of 16 people that she was suffocated on multiple occasions by her father. She also said that she was punished in cruel and unusual ways, being forced to stand for hours in weird positions, take poses, and was even water boarded at least four times. 

But on Tuesday, Hurley worked to weaken her credibility. For hours, he used written testimony from previous interactions with the Delaware Family Service to find inconsistencies or lies in her current comments on the abuse. 

The defense showed an emotional video of the girl accusing her step-sister of molesting her years before. Then the defense turned to the girl, asking if it was true and she admitted that she had lied. 

Kevin Tray from the defense team said that these types of lies in the past are important in a "he said, she said" situation like this one. He argued that if she lied under oath years before, it's possible she did it again. 

"Yesterday we heard her testify for - I don't know - four or five hours," he said. "And (she) gave one story. And then we - today saw another story."

WBOC also reached out to the prosecution, but they said they would not issue a comment until after the case is completed. 

Other than the molestation accusation, Hurley referenced many other situations to try and show a tendency to lie. At one point he commented on what he said was a long list of lies.

"You lied again," he said. "When does it stop." 

Despite the harsh rhetoric, the young girl maintained that she was telling the truth about her step-father's abuse. It could be weeks before this trial is over in Sussex County.

 

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