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Jury must decide fate of former pediatrician accused of waterboarding companion's daughter

The fate of a former pediatrician accused of waterboarding his longtime companion's daughter by holding the girl's head under a faucet is in the hands of a Delaware jury.

Jurors heard closing arguments Wednesday in the trial of 60-year-old Melvin Morse. Morse is charged with assault and endangerment. He could face more than 15 years in prison if convicted on all charges.

Jury deliberations were to begin Thursday unless postponed by a winter storm.

Morse claims the alleged waterboarding was simply attempts by him to wash the girl's hair.

But the 12-year-old girl and her mother, who reached a plea deal, say he used hair-washing as a threat or punishment.

Morse has researched near-death experiences involving children. He denies police claims that he may have been experimenting on the girl.

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