Accused 'Waterboarder' Had Depression, Abused Drugs: Court Records

The Delaware doc was known as a brilliant pediatrician and best-selling author, but court records show he had personal and financial troubles.

By Kelly Bayliss
|  Wednesday, Aug 15, 2012  |  Updated 8:32 AM EDT
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Accused 'Waterboarder' Abused Drugs: Courts

Delaware State Police

LEFT PHOTO: Melvin Morse RIGHT PHOTO: Pauline Morse Credit: Delaware State Police

Court records show a Delaware doctor accused of waterboarding his 11-year-old daughter was tormented by personal and financial problems.

Court records show that Dr. Melvin Morse, 58, of Georgetown, Del. suffered from depression, drug abuse and suicidal thoughts despite being known as a brilliant pediatrician and a best-selling author who parlayed his research on near-death experiences into appearances on "Larry King Live" and "The Oprah Winfrey Show."

Based on his work involving children's out-of-body experiences, police have suggested he may have been experimenting on his daughter when he allegedly grabbed her by the ankle, dragged her over the family's gravel driveway and into the house where he spanked her and held her face under a running faucet.

An attorney for Morse says that's sheer speculation.

The victim tells police this was the fourth time in two years she was punished that way.

Morse and the girl's mother, Pauline, 40, who police say failed to help her daughter during the July 12 incident, were arrested last week. 

Morse is scheduled for a court appearance Thursday.

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