UPDATE: Morse Cross Examined By Prosecution - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

UPDATE: Morse Cross Examined By Prosecution

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Melvin Morse Melvin Morse

GEORGETOWN, Del. - Melvin Morse, the former Delaware pediatrician, accused of waterboarding his step-daughter, was back in court on Tuesday morning.

The day began with a defense witness testifying about Melvin Morse's punishment of his step-daughter and ended with Morse answering similar questions.
     
A receptionist at his former job in Delaware said she saw Morse make the alleged victim stand as a punishment for misbehaving, but unlike other testimony, she said she did not see it as unkind or cruel.

The night the young girl ran away from home, Morse claimed he told her, "you're going to be punished like you've never been punished before. You'll have to clean your room."

It's a statement he says prosecutors edited and took out of context.

During Tuesday afternoon's cross examination, prosecution spent hours showing jurors more than a dozen videos and photos. The photos show the young girl standing against a wall,  looking distressed and even crying. One picture of interest: the word "shame" taped to girl's stomach. The image, Morse says, he wasn't sure if he or his wife Pauline took.

As for the alleged waterboarding incidents, the 60-year-old still claims he simply washed the girls hair in the kitchen. In a video played in court, the alleged victim's younger sister said to Child Advocacy Center investigators, "Dad cleans her hair by waterboarding."

Asked what that meant, the girl said, "he puts water on my sisters hair in the kitchen sink."

Earlier in the day, Melvin Morse denies slapping his step daughter so hard that she flipped over a table, an alleged incident which resulted in a Division of Family Services investigation. 

Prosecution played an exert of a previously played conversation with detectives during the morning the young girl ran away from Morse's home. In the video, Morse admitted to slapping his step daughter. In court, Morse claimed the comment was made in general and that he in fact did slap his step daughter "more than once" but not as a result of the incident.

Before recess, the state questioned Morse about allegedly dragging the young girl inside the home by the ankles. Morse said she was not dragged on concrete steps.

"I was careless, " he said. " I did pull her out of the car roughly, carelessly."

During cross examination,  prosecution repeatedly questioned Morse's parenting techniques and supposed punishment of his step daughter. The 60-year-old was shown pictures he took of the young girl standing against a wall, which Morse said was a punishment for the girl.

In the pictures, the now 12-year-old appeared sad or upset, one picture had tears dripping down her face. 

Morse said, "I'm ashamed [of taking and keeping the pictures]." 

In the beginning of the cross examination, prosecution showed copies of a notebook, which entailed a point system for reward and punishment.  Entries included "asks appropriately for help, plus 5 points" and "blaming her actions on Dad, negative 3 points". Also, a level system was written about where the girl would be in terms of standing. Nothing was written for levels 4 and 5 which Morse says was due to never enacting and "never a thought out idea."

Morse says he and his wife never used the point system and was only written as apart of a Strengthening Families program to learn how to deal with discipline.

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