Family Law

Child Abuse Trial Begins for Mom Charged After Sending Video of Hot Sauce Discipline to Dr. Phil


An Alaska woman and her police officer husband intended to help two Russian orphans by adopting the twin boys, her lawyer told a jury.

But after she sent a video of the unusual punishment she was using to discipline one child to a national television show in an effort to get help, Jessica Beagley was charged with misdemeanor child abuse. Her trial began in Anchorage today, the Associated Press reports.

As an earlier ABAJournal.com post details, the video shows Beagley squirting hot sauce into the 7-year-old’s mouth for lying and then putting him in a cold shower as he screamed. It was broadcast by CBS on the Dr. Phil show in November.

Beagley’s lawyer, Bill Ingaldson, said the Office of Children’s Services investigated and found no abuse.

Reports of the incident ignited a firestorm in Russia, following the deaths of several other Russian children adopted by American families, and journalists from that country are covering the trial, notes KTVA.

Both Beagley and the child, who still lives with the family along with his brother, may testify.

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