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Mom in Spotlight for Hot Sauce and Cold Shower Discipline Is Charged with Child Abuse

Posted Feb 4, 2011 4:40 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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An Alaska mother who sought help from a national television show in disciplining a difficult child has now been charged with abusing a 7-year-old boy she and her husband adopted from Russia.

Jessica Beagley, 36, faces a misdemeanor case in Anchorage city court, reports WLTX. She is expected to plead not guilty in a March hearing.

Footage of Beagley requiring the child to hold hot sauce in his mouth and take a cold shower for lying evoked strong reactions from some who saw it on the Dr. Phil show on CBS in November. However, some commenters have defended her, saying that she was trying to help the child and had not exceeded the boundaries of what they considered acceptable discipline.

The boy remains in the custody of Beagley and her police officer husband along with five other children, including his biological twin brother.

Additional and related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "Yale Law Prof Targeted in Mommy Wars Offers Further Explanation of Her Thoughts on Parenting"

ABAJournal.com: "Adoption Experts See Possible Criminal Violations in Mom’s Return of Boy to Russia"

ABC Action News: "Mother uses hot sauce, cold showers to discipline 7-year-old"

Associated Press: "Russian uproar over adopted boy's punishment in US"

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