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April 21, 2014

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Jury gets pediatrician waterboarding case

Updated Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014 | 8:07 a.m.

GEORGETOWN, Del. (AP) — The fate of a former pediatrician accused of waterboarding his longtime companion's daughter by holding the girl's head under a faucet is in the hands of a Delaware jury.

Jurors began deliberating Thursday morning in the trial of 60-year-old Melvin Morse. Morse is charged with assault and endangerment. He could face more than 15 years in prison if convicted on all charges.

Morse says the alleged waterboardings were simply his attempts to wash the girl's hair.

But the 12-year-old girl and her mother, who pleaded guilty to misdemeanor endangerment charges and agreed to testify against Melvin Morse, say he used hair-washing as a threat or punishment.

Morse has researched near-death experiences involving children. He denies police claims that he may have been experimenting on the girl.