Mom Forces Kid to Eat Hot Sauce: Child Abuse or Tough Parenting?

News 2011/08/24 13:00:00
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We're always astonished by the things people do in videos before they go on "Dr. Phil," knowing they're on camera.

For Jessica Beagley, a 36-year-old Anchorage woman who appeared on the show in November to sort out discipline issues with her 7-year-old son, those videos were her downfall.

After reviewing Beagley's parenting techniques -- forcing her son to drink hot sauce, take cold showers and do jumping-jacks as punishment for getting behavior notices at school -- the court has charged her with misdemeanor child abuse.

She could get up to a year in prison along with her $10,000 fine, and The Anchorage Daily News reports it only took the jury one day to decide she was guilty.

Henry Paul, a Mount Sinai psychiatrist, told ABC News, "The stun -- the shock -- the acute anxiety can also lead to [a] long-term type of post-traumatic stress disorder that we often see in criminals who are incarcerated."

Oddly, investigators didn't find any signs of abuse with Beagley's other six children.

Her lawyers claim, "They're good people caught up in a bad situation. Child Protective Services has done a complete investigation and found no evidence of abuse of the other children ... if they believed it was a dangerous situation they would have removed the children."

But isn't sending the mom to jail technically a way of removing the children from the situation?

She still has custody of all of her kids, including the one shown in the video, but we'll find out if she has to be removed herself (and if so for how long) when she's sentenced on Monday.

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Top Opinion

  • La 2011/08/24 16:20:16
    Child abuse
    I watched the original video months ago. It was pretty disgusting. First she made him gargle hot sauce (not eat it; he wasn't allowed to swallow it, just let it burn the inside of his mouth) while she interrogated him, then made him spit it out and threw him in a shower and blasted him with cold water while she continued interrogating him/yelling at him.

    And like, that was a normal procedure for them. She'd be like *WHAT HAPPENS TO YOU WHEN YOU LIE TO MUMMY?* and he'd be like *sob sob I get hot sauce* and she was like *THEN WHAT DO YOU GET?* and he was like *sob sob c-c-c-cold shower*

    All because, I dunno, he fought with another kid over some pencils. He was like 8 years old. Unless he broke the other kids face, it was utterly uncalled for.

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  • Rebellion 2012/07/12 11:34:51
    Child abuse
    I pretty much having nothing to say. The video speaks from its own.
  • jesika.woody 2012/01/27 00:15:23
    Child abuse
    I remember my father doing the same to me... It never taught me to remember not to do or say something... all I remember are the blisters and pain I endoured several different occasions. If you can not learn to behave/ or discuss with your children why they are in trouble then you have no business having children in your care!!! I have children and have yet to need to bust or hurt my child in any form to make them mind themselves or me and others.
  • shindogg 2011/09/23 05:49:19
    Child abuse
    that is incorrent indecent behavior towards a child, adopted or not. although its a shame parents didnt get sent to jail for whippin their children with belts and other objects like spoons or other objects and usin bars of soap on their mouths and so forth back in the day. because discipline on a child is not love, it is hateful agression that is bein directed towards them that they most likely feel about their parents, teachers, peers and other sources of mental anguish, the root of anger, depression and other bad feelings.
  • billycat98 shindogg 2011/10/30 12:44:26
    she shouldnt be arrested its the childs private life behind walls
  • shindogg billycat98 2011/12/01 06:27:37
    hey, you think whatever you like buddy but i think she should be arrested. this is child abuse in my book.
  • Christina Estabrooks 2011/09/23 01:23:21
    Child abuse
    Christina Estabrooks
    Hot sauce PLUS cold shower child abuse. Cold shower Child abuse.. hot sauce ( if little used and not super hot ) mabey... but for something so minor as not paying attention in class? wow pathetic mother. the child should have gotten a time out or a loud voice saying NO ... i remember when a spank on the bum and sent to ur room or a corner was used.. but today they prob consider that child abuse
  • Erii 2011/09/14 19:51:04
    Tough parenting
    I would cry like that just from being yelled at, and that wasn't abusive. But then again, I guess in a few more years they'll be coming out with parenting magazines the tell parents that hugging your kid to tight is child abuse. Seriously guys? Spare the rod and spoil the child. I got the wooden spoon plenty of timescwhen I was little, more then my siblings. And now they're selfish, greedy, stuck up people. It's the same in the schools, lttle respect from any of the students.
  • Deidre 2011/09/13 16:17:43
    Child abuse
    thats just wrong and though the phyisical damage isnt that great the mental and emotional damage is what no one thinks about they think "oh its just cold water" or "oh its just hot sauce" its not the emotional toll that can put on a child is what really hurts i was in a situation like that from the time i was 6 to the time i was 13 and i still at 15 go to a sycitrist.
  • bettyboop 2011/09/08 11:43:42
    Tough parenting
    Nip it in the bud..........nip it now..........she is not beating him, I see no blood............yeah he is crying.....I would be to......because I got caught and am having to go through the ordeal........I am sure all those who call this child abuse are wonderful parents who's kids mind all the time..........apparently this kinda punishment is not bad enough because he seems to know whats gonna happen.........because he did not learn before........
  • ELSD 2011/09/07 22:39:54
    Tough parenting
    At least she isn't feeding him soap that can cause the hershey squirts, or beating him until he can't see or sit, it is only hot sauce, it won't kill the kid!
  • nefertari 2011/09/07 02:14:43
    Child abuse
    What a witch. They should make her drink hot sauce too...see if she likes it.
  • Savannah :) 2011/09/06 21:39:36
    Child abuse
    Savannah :)
    That is Cruel and Unusual Punishment
    That is disgusting, I want to cry for that little boy.
  • lauren dull 2011/09/02 13:04:27
    Child abuse
    lauren dull
    This mom is a sick bitch.
  • N-RagedOwner 2011/09/02 09:05:06
    Child abuse
    Put the kid in time out or take away their toys/privileges and if that doesn't work then spank the kids ass (appropriately not excessively). But geez don't mess with the kids internal organs!
  • quikkate 2011/09/01 13:09:59
    Child abuse
    It was so terrible I couldn't watch the whole thing, that child was terrified !!! I never have watched Dr Phil and I NEVER will, what that man won't do for ratings... So the woman was given probation, who is going to help the child ? Both of them need to be rescued, there is no way on earth she treats her other kids like that! I am appalled, and saddened that she calls herself a mother.
  • HOMBRE 2011/08/31 23:57:21
    Tough parenting
    No big deal try getting a hard bar of soap rubbed on your teeth like they were sand paper where the bare of soap breaks in half from the sawing motion where you taste soap for a day
  • Andrew 2011/08/31 21:53:34
    Child abuse
    Yeah, I think that's way too harsh the way she disciplines him, in the future it will only cause him to resent her even more.
  • hptwilight101 2011/08/31 20:04:46
    Child abuse
    I know I am too but Wow and now you are all commenting on a website about it but I have seen true abuse with my little brothers and my father who threw my at the time 8 year old brother for saying "Don't eat my sisters food" which was when i was very ill and couldn't move. My other brother was beaten with a small wooden bat on the behind and he is autistic but he did nothing to deserve it but the courts did nothing and that is why i now abuse. I have seen more abuse than what I described but what that women did is awful just not on a high scale as my brothers. I have seen paddling at school and it should never be brought back but the woman is going to be put on trial for abuse because that is abuse on a smaller scale but still it is abuse and we should take a prized possession of the kids, ground them, and/or make the do extra chores not placing fear even if the kid doesn't hate or fear the parent just don't do it.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Spoken from a person who has nearly seen it all. Dispute over the topic and my comment all you like!!!!!!
  • Tsigg 2011/08/31 16:48:30
    Tough parenting
    this doesnt fall under the category of "abuse" it just falls under the category of "utterly ridiculous" WHICH should be an option.
  • lauren ... Tsigg 2011/09/02 13:09:14
    lauren dull
    Do you have a clue what drink hot sauce can do to a childs internal organ's ?? She is a abusive sick bitch. It is like beating your child from the inside out. This could effect this child into adulthood and beyond. You would be better off hitting your kid in the face, it would do less physical harm. This is abuse.
  • Ahlana Tsigg 2011/09/11 19:49:47
    As a social worker (ie someone who investigates to see if a claim of child abuse is justified) I can tell you that this DOES meet the definition of child abuse. It falls under the "inhumane torture" section of the law in my state, which is the same place you would find things like water boarding, forcing to kneel on dry rice, locking in a room without contact, or duct taping to a bed/chair. None of those things leave permanent physical injury, but they do massive long term psychological harm.
  • Tsigg Ahlana 2011/12/13 15:39:27
    but then why doesn't spanking fall into that category? it should.
  • Ahlana Tsigg 2012/01/26 07:21:12
    While I agree with you, the official position is that spanking doesn't cause "massive long term psychological harm."
  • angel face 2011/08/31 02:52:49
    Tough parenting
    angel face
    I wouldn't do it but hear it works. Too brutal though
  • Zak Smith 2011/08/29 16:26:07
    Child abuse
    Zak Smith
  • janet 2011/08/29 16:12:41
    Child abuse
    It is even more upsetting that this his an adopted child.
    Clearly child abuse, that poor, scared little boy needs to be taken out of her care
    until she can control her anger issues.
  • asdfghjkl 2011/08/29 07:58:34
    Child abuse
    Watching that kid cry and scream in the shower disturbded me... o.O
  • trudy.padden 2011/08/29 05:54:31
    Child abuse
    many people put hot sauce in theyre kids mouths but once you watch the video it is much more then just hot sauce
  • Tanya Bosch 2011/08/29 04:22:14
    Child abuse
    Tanya Bosch
    personally i think that people should realize we give criminals punishment for children we teach them consequences, consequences that fit the action... and where did he learn to be this way hmmmm HER and honestly if she was my mom I would lie to her too she scares me and
    I am an adult I can not imagine what that poor baby was thinking..... and the fact that she chose one child to single out is a huge emotional disaster for that kiddo too!
  • DrewTaylor 2011/08/29 01:17:34
    Child abuse
    It is obvious that this person does not like the child and only wants to feel in control of her subject. Parents like this should never try parenting...!!!
  • TʜɘInƨɒnɘЯiddlɘ 2011/08/28 14:05:59
    Child abuse
    awww that poor child! and it's not even her biological son
  • Joe 2011/08/28 12:55:52
    Tough parenting
    I just didn't think it was child abuse...knowing his parent will come through on punishment will certainly cause the child to make the right decision. More parents today should 'follow through' with punishment. Time out's are for sissy's...bring back paddling in schools!
  • lauren ... Joe 2011/09/02 13:12:00
    lauren dull
    Padding& spanking is far less abusive than this. Drinking hot sauce can cause real lasting health problems. This women is a STUPID SICK BITCH.
  • hazel lauren ... 2011/09/05 12:06:53
    Do you know the difference between drinking and putting drops in the mouth??? EVER BEEN CAMPING WITH KIDS AND TAKE A SHOWER????
  • lauren ... hazel 2011/09/07 12:37:52
  • bettyboop lauren ... 2011/09/08 11:47:23
    Then you should also know that the stomach has a mucous lining and that his tongue, with the sensitive taste buds would burn, but it is not going to tear his stomach up..........the acid in the stomach is as strong as battery acid.....I know I am a nurse
  • lauren ... bettyboop 2011/09/08 15:25:54
    lauren dull
    Disagree, prolong punishment in this way can cause digestive problems.
  • sarah.m... bettyboop 2012/10/30 21:07:17
    What kind of nurse are you? If I were you, I would be careful what you preach on this site. You must not be the type of nurse that keeps up with current research. Glad you're not taking care of anyone I know.
  • bettyboop sarah.m... 2012/10/30 21:25:49
    I bet you know all about ignorant people, since you have to look at yourself in the mirror every day!
  • hazel Joe 2011/09/05 12:05:35
    I agree
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