Doctor in waterboarding case: State overreacting

This combination of photos released by the Delaware State Police shows pediatrician Melvin Morse, 48, and his wife, Pauline Morse, 40.
AP Photo/Delaware State Police

(CBS/AP) DOVER, Del. - A Delaware physician accused of waterboarding his 11-year-old stepdaughter says he is being persecuted by authorities because of a 2009 doctor abuse scandal in the state.

Dr. Melvin Morse tells The Associated Press that he is the victim of what he called hysteria following the prosecution of pediatrician Earl Bradley. Bradley is serving 14 life sentences for abusing scores of his young patients over more than a decade.

Melvin Morse, Delaware pediatrician, accused of 'waterboarding' his daughter

Morse ended Monday's telephone interview before he could be asked directly about the specific charges in his case.

Morse, who is out on bail, faces a preliminary hearing Thursday on felony charges of child endangerment after being accused of holding his daughter's face under a running faucet on several occasions. Court documents say the girl feared for her life, according to CBS affiliate WBOC.

Joe Hurley, Morse's attorney, argued that what Morse actually did was not close to what people think of when they hear of waterboarding.

"I happened to look up the definition of waterboarding to see what the background is, and it refers to Kymer Rouge, and it refers to being strapped on some kind of device and having a mask put over your face," Hurley told  WBOC, "so it ain't waterboarding, whatever it was."