Monday, June 17, 2013

Alaska mom forces child to eat hot sauce

Alaska mom forces child to eat hot sauce, An Alaska woman who put hot sauce in her adopted son's mouth to get on the "Dr. Phil" show was found guilty of misdemeanor child abuse Tuesday.

Jessica Beagley, 36, shocked viewers of the popular daytime talk show when a video showed her pouring hot sauce down the throat of her 7-year-old adopted Russian son, Kristoff, for misbehaving in school.

The video - which Anchorage prosecutors said was filmed by her 10-year-old daughter - also showed her forcing Kristoff into a cold shower.

After the footage aired on "Dr. Phil," she was charged with the misdemeanor. The punishment in this case was over the top, it was too much, it was abusive. But mostly it was unnecessary," prosecutor Cynthia Franklin told the jury. "There was only one reason she had to do it, and you know what that reason is. She had to do it to show Dr. Phil just how angry she was."

Beagley contacted the show after seeing a segment in April 2009 called "Angry Moms," according to the Associated Press. A year and a half later, people from the show responded and asked if she was "still angry."

She said yes and quickly sent in a video of her yelling at her children. But the "Dr. Phil" show said it needed to see her punishing her six kids, prosecutors said, according to the Anchorage Daily News.

So Beagley grabbed some hot sauce and a camera - and days later was on her way to the show. There is no reason in this world why someone would have to hurt a child to get on reality television. That's out of bounds," Franklin said. "This kid got to be the one Jessica used to show just how mean she could be to get on a show."

Russian authorities threatened to take back Kristoff and his twin brother after the show aired. But the children remained in Beagley's custody and were not expected to be removed.

Beagley's lawyer, William Ingaldson, argued that she was at her wit's ends when it came to disciplining her children. He argued while she made poor parenting choices, she wasn't a criminal mom.

"It's not about did she make the best choices in disciplining him," Ingaldson said. "It's not a criminal offense to use a punishment that doesn't work."

The charge is punishable by up to a $10,000 fine and up to one year in prison.

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