An Alaska mom who punished her adopted Russian son by squirting hot sauce into his mouth was given a 180-day jail sentence and a $2,500 fine.
As a ploy to get on the Dr. Phil TV show, 36-year-old Jessica Beagley made an 8-minute video of herself punishing the 7-year-old boy after he lied about getting into trouble at school (he was sword-fighting with pencils).
She then subjected him to a cold shower. According to her defence, Beagley was trying to get help for her son through the television show. But prosecution didn't buy it.
And even though District Court Judge David Wallace described Beagley's actions as "premeditated" and "gratuitous", he failed to convict her to the maximum 1-year prison term with a $10,000 fine.
With her police officer husband at her side, Beagley claimed it was her "most important job to love and nurture her children", and that being a good mother to her meant teaching children right from wrong.
Beagley's twin sons had been adopted 2008, after spending three years in an orphanage. Prior to that they'd lived in a shack and slept on shelves in an armoire. While one of the boys had adjusted to his new home in Alaska, the other still exhibited behavioural problems, including lying and urinating on the floor.
Beagley's defence suggested that she had resorted to the unconventional punishments after spankings, time-outs and restricting television proved ineffective.
Defence attorney William Ingaldson contended Beagley had reached out to the Dr. Phil show for help. The incident that sparked the videotaped punishment occurred at school.
Do you think the twins should be taken into care? Or is the hot sauce simply an extension of washing out a child's mouth out with soap -- once a common punishment for swearing?