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Milford Beacon
  • Former Sussex pediatrician gets jail time for waterboarding stepdaughter

  • A former Sussex County pediatrician who was convicted earlier this year of abusing is 11-year-old stepdaughter was sentenced to three years in prison on Friday.
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  • A former Sussex County pediatrician who was convicted earlier this year of abusing is 11-year-old stepdaughter was sentenced to three years in prison on Friday.
    The sentencing comes one month after Melvin Morse was found guilty in Sussex County Superior Court of waterboarding the 11-year-old girl as punishment. A three-week trial concluded on Feb. 13, in which Morse was convicted on several charges including reckless endangering, assault, and endangering the welfare of a child.
    The waterboarding incident occurred in the upstairs bathroom of the home he shared with co-defendant Pauline Morse. Pauline Morse was previously convicted of charges related to the crimes and testified against Melvin Morse at his trial, said Jason Miller, spokesman for the Delaware Department of Justice.
    On Friday, Judge Richard F. Stokes sentenced Melvin Morse to three years in prison, which is to be followed by two years of intensive probation. Morse is also ordered to have no contact with the victim or her family, including Pauline Morse, to fully comply with any mental health or substance abuse treatment recommended by his probation officer, to be evaluated for domestic violence treatment, and to perform five to 35 hours of community service each week unless he has secured separate employment.
    “This defendant preyed on a vulnerable young victim under his care, inflicting violent physical and emotional abuse against her,” said Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden in a prepared statement.  “We are pleased that he has received a prison sentence for his unspeakable crimes.”
    At the conclusion of Friday’s hearing, bail was revoked and Morse, who has been free on bail following his conviction, was taken into custody by the Department of Correction to begin serving his prison sentence, Miller said.

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