UNDATED (CNN) -- A Delaware pediatrician and his wife were arrested after their daughter told authorities her father had used "waterboarding" techniques on her. The 11-year-old claims this happened several times as punishment.
Pediatrician Melvin Morse is an expert on the effects of near-death experiences in children. He's written books on the subject and even appeared on Larry King Live. He said in the interview, "I have interviewed well over 100 children who have had a lack of oxygen to the brain, who were treated with all kinds of medicines, and who also are mechanically-ventilated with scary intensive care units, but were not near death."
Now, his 11-year-old daughter tells authorities Dr. Morse used a technique on her that simulates drowning, allegedly holding her face under a running faucet as water shot up her nose. She claims she was being punished but did not know why and that it happened at least four times over two years. She told police her mother, Pauline Morse, witnessed some of the incidents but did not intervene.
Now, both husband and wife are under arrest in Delaware, charged with reckless endangerment, conspiracy and endangering the life of a child. Authorities were first called to the home in July, when Morse was accused of grabbing his 11-year-old by the ankle, dragging her across a gravel driveway, and spanking her.
The doctor was charged with third-degree assault in that case. But he has not been convicted yet of anything. The alleged mistreatment is a hot topic among neighbors. One neighbor says, "I do believe if there is a need to punish a child, then punish a child. But don't torture the child." Another said, "Going overboard dragging the kid and trying to drown a kid, that's too far. And, in my opinion, the guy should be locked up without bail."
An attorney for Dr. Morse has not responded to a request for a comment.
According to documents obtained by the Delaware News Journal, the child said her father told her she "could go five minutes without brain damage." She also said she feared her father would lose track of time while holding her under the water.