A Montana man who waterboarded four children, his 9 and 12-year-old sons, and his neighbor's kids, 13 and 15 years old, calling it a "learning experience," reached a plea deal last Friday, according to court records.
The accused, 42-year-old William Albert Province, reached a deal with prosecutors in which he pleaded guilty to four misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a child. Province was subsequently sentenced to two years' probation, the Associated Press reported.
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The father was charged on Dec. 20 with three felony counts and one misdemeanor count of assault on a minor.
Authorities had been searching for Province since Dec. 5, when his then girlfriend told police that Province broke her wrist and fingers while she attempted to stop him from pouring water on his sons' faces, court records state.
Authorities eventually found Province at Montana's Helena Regional Airport, where he was returning from a trip to Alaska.
Prosecutors allege two other children, who lived next door to Province, told Child Protective Services that the father also waterboarded them, the AP reports.
According to Province's ex-girlfriend, she saw him straddle his boys, putting hands over each of their faces and pouring water over them to simulate drowning.
The woman added that Province described it as "a learning experience for them."
Previously, Province was accused of threatening a local school, police say, though court documents did not mention which school he allegedly made threats to or if it was part of Friday's plea deal.
A source close to the case told the AP that police recovered military-grade armor, armor-piercing ammunition, and several assault weapons at his residence, in case authorities attempted to arrest him at his home.
A similar waterboarding case involving a minor
occurred last summer, when a 58-year-old Delaware pediatrician, Melvin Morse, allegedly disciplined his daughter by holding her face and nose under running water, the News Journal newspaper reported.
The abuse lasted for two years, the 11-year-old victim claimed. The victim also said her mother stood by and watched as Melvin abused her and her sister through waterboarding.
Ironically, Morose wrote a book about children and near-death experiences called "Closer to the Light."
Morse and his wife, Pauline, were subsequently charged with reckless endangerment, conspiracy, and endangering the welfare of a child.
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