Alaska's 'Hot Sauce' Mom Sentenced to 3 Years of Probation, Fine, for Child Abuse
Judge also hands Jessica Beagley a suspended sentence and fine.
Aug. 29, 2011 — -- A judge sentenced an Alaska mother of six to three years probation for child abuse for forcing her adopted son to drink hot sauce and take cold showers on a taped segment of the "Dr. Phil" show.
Calling the woman's actions "an extremely serious offense" and a "premeditated and gratuitous act," District Judge David Wallace today sentenced Jessica Beagley to 180 days in jail and a $2,500 fine, then suspended both sentences and told her she need the time and money to help rebuild and heal her family.
Beagley could have been sentenced to as much as one year in prison. She must continue to receive counseling until professionals decide it is no longer needed.
Last week Beagley, 36, was found guilty of one count of misdemeanor child abuse by a jury of three men and three women.
At the sentencing, Beagley addressed the court, saying she felt that it was her most important job as a mother to care for and teach her children.
"I have three little boys all with special needs. I have one little boy who is much more special ... who came to me with special needs that I didn't know how to handle," she said.
Her husband, Gary, who is an Anchorage police officer, also addressed the court.
"We both love our children, our adopted and our biological. It makes no difference ... we have 11 different therapy appointments every week. We are just trying to be the best parents we can," he said.
According to court documents, police began to investigate Beagley after she appeared with "Dr. Phil" McGraw in November 2010 of last year on a segment called "Mommy Confessions."
Beagley told McGraw about her difficulty disciplining her 7-year-old son, Kristoff. Video shot by her 10-year-old daughter showed Beagley at home in Alaska disciplining the boy.
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