Former Wife Agrees To Testify Against NDE Researcher Dr. Melvin Morse
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PLEA OFFER IN CASE OF DR. MELVIN MORSE, PEDIATRICIAN ACCUSED OF
WATERBOARDING GIRL, 11
The Associated Press
May 17, 2013
A woman who lived with a Delaware pediatrician accused of waterboarding
her 11-year-old daughter agreed Friday to plead guilty to child
endangerment charges and testify against him.
In accepting a plea offer from prosecutors, Pauline Morse agreed to
plead guilty to three misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a
child and to cooperate with prosecutors and testify against Dr. Melvin
Melvin Morse, 59, has written a best-selling book and achieved national
recognition for his research into near-death experiences involving
children. Police suggested in an affidavit that he may have been
experimenting on the girl last year, a claim he denies.
A trial for Melvin Morse is scheduled to start June 10. Morse and his
attorney, Joe Hurley, did not immediately return telephone messages
seeking comment Friday.
A spokesman for the attorney general's office had no immediate comment.
Pauline Morse, 41, was scheduled to formally enter her plea at a court
hearing Monday in Georgetown. Sentencing guidelines call for up to a
year in prison, suspended for up to 1 year of probation, and a fine of
up to $2,300.
The couple lived together as husband and wife, even though they were
divorced several years ago. The 11-year-old girl was Pauline Morse's
daughter from a previous relationship, even though Morse has claimed in
the past that he is her father.
The allegations of waterboarding surfaced after Melvin Morse was accused
of grabbing the 11-year-old by the ankle last July and, as her
6-year-old sister watched, dragging her across a gravel driveway. He was
arrested on misdemeanor endangerment and assault charges and released on
The charges were revised after the older girl told investigators that
Melvin Morse also had disciplined her by holding her face under a
running faucet at least four times since 2009, a punishment she said he
Waterboarding simulates drowning and has been used in the past by U.S.
interrogators on terrorism suspects. Many critics call it torture.
Police said Pauline Morse, who was initially charged with felony
endangerment and conspiracy, witnessed the "waterboarding" and did
nothing to stop it. Her two daughters were taken into state custody, but
she has been allowed visitation and is working to try to regain custody
"My client's main objective is getting the children back," said Dean
Johnson, a public defender representing Pauline Morse. "She's not going
to get them back until these matters are resolved. She needs to get this
Johnson said Pauline Morse has "totally changed" compared to when he
first met her. He said she has grown from "somewhat of a 'Sad Sack'
personality" who was easily manipulated by others into a more
self-confident person able to make decisions on her own.
"She has independence of thought... whereas before Melvin made the
decisions and she went along," he said.
Following his arrest Melvin Morse, whose medical license has been
suspended, was charged with conspiracy and five felony counts of
endangerment. Prosecutors later dropped the conspiracy charge, which
involved Pauline Morse, but added four new endangering counts and one
count of misdemeanor assault.
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