‘Hot Sauce Mom’ Alaska Woman Convicted of Child Abuse

Jessica Beagley of Anchorage Alaska was convicted Tuesday of misdemeanor child abuse charges after she squirted hot sauce into the mouth of her 7-year-old adopted son as a punishment for misbehaving and lying in school.  According to The Huffington Post, prosecutors also charged that she made the boy stand in a cold shower as a punishment, and that both actions were taken as a ploy to get onto a segment of the “Dr. Phil” television show called “Mommy Confessions.”  The show aired in November 2010.  From The Huffington Post:

Beagley…submitted audition videos in which she yelled at the boy, but producers said they needed to see her actually punishing her son, the prosecutor said.

That’s when Beagley got the video camera ready, made sure there was enough hot sauce on the shelf in the bathroom and recruited her 10-year-old daughter to shoot the video, Franklin said. Days later, she was headed to Los Angeles to tape the show that first aired on Nov. 17, 2010.

The boy and his twin brother were both adopted from Russia by Beagley and her husband in 2008.  Defense attorneys argued that she had reached out to the “Dr. Phil” show for help, and that she is not a child abuser.

The maximum sentence will be one year in jail, a $10,000 fine and up to 10 years of probation.  Beagley will be sentenced Monday, August 29.

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  1. by Michael DeMarco

    On August 25, 2011 at 12:02 am

    I watched the segment on “Dr. Phil”…twice. I was outraged as I’m sure millions of others were. What this new information tells me is that this was worse than originally thought. The mother did it solely to get on the TV show. She should be punished to the max and the children removed from her permanently.

  2. by Linda King

    On August 25, 2011 at 12:18 am

    I find it ridiculous that you’re asking your readers to decide if what this woman did was discipline or cruelty….Of course it is cruelty! It is abuse! The children should be taken away from this unfit mother. To think that she is so starved for attention that she does such cruel acts to this particular son to get on television….Take the children away from her & punish her to the limit the law allows!

  3. by Tonya B

    On August 25, 2011 at 12:56 am

    I am a Mother. Making your child eat hot sauce or take a freezing cold shower does NOT teach them behave. She is being horrible and abusive. You don’t teach your child to be a good person by being a mean person. It’s a control issue. He threw pencils at school and then told her he didn’t so he wouldn’t get in trouble. Guess what? All kids do things like that. They do things wrong, they test boundaries, they make mistakes, and they are constantly learning. How you handle those mistakes determines what kind of parent AND what kind of person you truly are. A teaching moment for your child doesn’t need to be tramatic for you to get your point across. I know some of you may say, “Well, I got hit and I turned out fine.” Well, I never hit my son and he turned out fine too. People are going to do what they want, but just remember, your child now will eventually become an adult. I hope she will be ready for what he has to say about what she did when he is old enough to articulate it.

  4. by Melissa T.

    On August 25, 2011 at 1:33 am

    I don’t understand what hot sauce and cold showers have to do with the misbehavior. It is poor parenting and very poor judgment- much like the group of teens that video taped themselves shooting people with a paintball gun as they drove by. My heart goes out to those children and I pity their mother- she should be punished- but I do not feel she should lose custody of her children.

  5. by Katie

    On August 25, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    My stepdad gave my brother a jalepeno and told him it was a pickle as a cruel joke. He ate it and screamed and didn’t recover for a few hours. He was 7. If I knew that type of thing was considered abuse I would have turned him in myself at 5 years old. What is wrong with people?

  6. by ramona

    On August 27, 2011 at 9:29 am


  7. by Ann

    On August 30, 2011 at 7:46 am

    I think what this woman did was wrong and showed poor judgement but from what I saw of the show it seemed like she was out of answers and was reaching out for help from Dr. Phil and while I can see child services intervening and watching the family and children closely I am not sure she should be locked away either. Some parents with children who are hard to handle just let the kid be and tolerate the behavior at least she tried to do something and she didn’t physically/permanently harm him, I think she need some counseling and different tools to deal with him.

  8. by anton

    On August 30, 2011 at 9:28 am

    What I understand is this woman did these awful acts in order to appear in Dr. Phil’s Show; pretending that she needs help for anger management. In reality she wanted to appear on tv and to make money. Perhaps, she is envious of Sarah Palin. I agree that this woman should be locked up in jail to give her ample time to think that what she did is evil. Does anyone has an extra bible . . . give it to her.

  9. by Dijah

    On September 5, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    This is STUPID. Hot sauce on a child’s tongue is not ABUSE. It’s a mild punishment for lying and bad behavior. We, as a society, are raising weaklings and fools because we can not even say “No” in a harsh voice without being accused of abuse. It makes me ill, watching all these spoiled, self absorbed little brats grow into adulthood believeing that there are no consequences for their bad behavior. Its no wonder our world is in the state its in, we are raising children to believe that lying is ok, that disrespect is acceptable, and that no matter what they do, there will never be a harsh word spoken or a punishment given.

  10. by Ela

    On September 8, 2011 at 6:04 am

    These people are called “mom” and “dad” ? …. they should be called devil – there is no other word for behaviour like this – on innocent children who depend on those evil creatures.

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  13. by Ray Cook

    On June 26, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    This is insane! Abuse is so broadly defined nowadays that we are all “abusers”. Hot sauce on the tongue!? Please! A cold shower!? Whatever! This is “evil”? Sounds like a bunch of weak minded hand wringing over nothing. I ground my kids, take away privileges, send them to bed without supper, and yes…. in the worst cases of bad behavior I spank them! When they’re teenagers if they get in my face and cuss me ill put them through a wall! (We’ve all seen those “out of control kids” on TV.) Funny thing is, as “evil” and abusive as I am (according to these comments) they still love me. Can’t wait for me to get home from work. They are well adjusted, loving, and for the most part, well behaved, normal kids! Amazing how a little old school discipline produces better kids!

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