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April 23, 2014

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Doctor accused of waterboarding testifies

Updated Monday, Feb. 10, 2014 | 2:07 p.m.

GEORGETOWN, Del. (AP) — A former pediatrician accused of waterboarding his longtime companion's daughter says both he and her mother became exasperated in trying to wash the girl's hair after she started taking showers instead of baths.

Melvin Morse testified Monday that when the girl was about 8 years old, it became a struggle within the household to keep her hair clean. He said he took over the hair-washing duties after the girl's mother gave up, but that he tried it only a few times himself before stopping.

The girl and her mother claim that Morse used hair-washing as a pretense for punishment.

The 60-year-old Morse, who acknowledged Monday that he once slapped the girl, is accused of endangerment and assault. He could get more than 20 years in prison if convicted.