Doctor accused of waterboarding pleads not guilty

A Delaware pediatrician accused of waterboarding his 11-year-old stepdaughter has pleaded not guilty to charges of child endangerment and assault.

Dr. Melvin Morse entered the plea at an arraignment Wednesday in Georgetown.

Morse has written a best-selling book and achieved national recognition for his research into near-death experiences involving children. Police suggested in an affidavit that he may have been experimenting on his stepdaughter, a claim he denies.

Morse was arrested in August and charged with conspiracy and five felony counts of endangerment. Prosecutors have dropped the conspiracy charge, which involved the girl's mother, but added four new endangering counts and one count of misdemeanor assault.

The couple's two daughters are in state custody but are allowed supervised visits with their mother, Pauline Morse, who is trying to regain custody.

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