A former pediatrician who has written several books on near-death experiences in kids has been convicted of waterboarding his girlfriend’s daughter, the Associated Press reports.
Melvin Morse, 60, was convicted of a felony for waterboarding the 11-year-old in the bathtub, which the girl and her mother said he used as a threat and punishment, according to the AP.
Watherboarding is meant to make people feel like they’re drowning while water is poured into their nose and mouth. People who have experienced it call it a form of torture. Morse could go to prison for several years because of the conviction.
Morse’s medical licence was suspended after his arrest. He’s been on “Larry King Live” and “Oprah” to talk about his research into paranormal science and near-death experiences, according to the AP.
After his arrest, police speculated that he may have been experimenting on the 11-year-old because of his research interests in near-death experiences, the AP reported in 2012.
Morse told the AP in an interview that the charges were an overreaction, and his defence has said the term “waterboarding” was a joke he used for a hair-washing technique the girl didn’t like.
Morse had a successful career as a pediatrician. He once worked for Seattle Children’s Hospital, and Seattle Magazine named him one of the city’s best doctors for a decade, the AP noted.
In his “Oprah” interview, which can be viewed here, Morse discussed how many children who have had near-death experiences have what he called “guardian angels.”
Morse says he contracted Hepatitis C in 1998 from working with children at the hospital, at which point things appeared to go downhill for him. By 2007, the AP reported, he had retired from working as a full-time doctor and owed tens in thousands of dollars in taxes.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.