‘Hot Sauce’ Mom Guilty Of Child Abuse
August 23, 2011 by UPI - United Press International, Inc.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Aug. 23 (UPI) — A jury in Anchorage, Alaska, Tuesday convicted a woman of misdemeanor child abuse for putting hot sauce in her son’s mouth and forcing him to take cold showers.
Jessica Beagley, 36, of Anchorage — who has been called the “hot sauce” mom — was charged after her method of punishing her adopted Russian son was televised, prompting viewers to call Anchorage police.
The jury delivered its verdict one day after beginning deliberations, the Anchorage Daily News reported.
When the trial began Thursday, prosecutor Cynthia Franklin told jurors the case centered on videos Beagley sent to the nationally syndicated “Dr. Phil” show. Franklin said the tapes would show Beagley disciplining one of the twin boys she and her husband, an Anchorage police officer, had adopted by putting hot sauce in his mouth and placing him in a cold shower.
Beagley’s lawyer, William Ingaldson, said prosecutors needed to prove the punishment was cruel, gratuitous and done with the intent to inflict pain, among other things, Ingaldson said. None of the criteria fit the case, he said.
“She wanted to be and still wants to be a good mom,” Ingaldson said.
Beagley and her husband adopted the twins boys in 2008, when the children were 5 years old.
“[The jury] followed the law and they concluded that it is child abuse to hurt your child as an audition for a television show,” Franklin said.
Sentencing is scheduled for Monday. Beagley could be fined as much as $10,000 fine and could be sent to prison for one year.