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.