'Hot Sauce Mom' Convicted of Child Abuse in AK

By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on August 24, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

"Hot sauce mom" Jessica Beagley has been convicted of misdemeanor child abuse by a jury in Alaska.

Beagley, 36, earned the nickname of "hot sauce mom" after sending in a disturbing video of how she disciplined her 7-year-old adopted Russian son to the "Dr. Phil" television program.

Beagley infamously yelled at her crying son for lying to her, put hot sauce in his mouth and forced him to take a cold shower.

The video earned her a spot on the "Dr. Phil" show, but also put her abusive disciplinary techniques into the national spotlight.

Beagley and her husband adopted the boy along with his twin brother when they were only 5 years old in 2008, according to the Anchorage Daily News. She argued that these extreme disciplinary measures were necessary because of her son's disorder, which made him more likely to misbehave, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The jury deliberated for about a day before delivering the guilty verdict, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Beagley's conviction of child abuse likely stems from the excessive physical punishments she doled out on her son. But, it could also be a result of the mental abuse she inflicted.

In many jurisdictions, child abuse is broadly defined and can also include mental harm inflicted on a child. Excessive yelling, demeaning a child, or otherwise emotionally harming them can also lead to a conviction of child abuse.

In Alaska, the misdemeanor charge carries a maximum punishment of a $10,000 fine and a year in prison.

Jessica Beagley was accompanied by her husband who is an Anchorage policeman, when the verdict was read, The Wall Street Journal reports. The "hot sauce mom" will be sentenced Monday.

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