Mother convicted of abusing son to get on TV
A woman who squirted chilli sauce into the mouth of one of her adopted Russian twin sons in a bid, prosecutors said, to get on a television talk-show has been convicted of child abuse.
A video filmed by her 10-year-old daughter and sent to the programme shows Jessica Beagley, 36, yelling at the crying boy, then tipping his chin up and pouring the sauce in his mouth.
Beagley then made the screaming boy stand in a cold shower, all as punishment for lying about getting in to trouble at school. The footage aired on the Dr Phil show in October, prompting shocked viewers to call Anchorage police and report her. Beagley could face the maximum sentence of one year in jail, a $10,000 fine and up to 10 years of probation when she is sentenced.
Beagley and her husband, an Anchorage police officer, adopted the twins in 2008. The boys had already spent three years in an orphanage. One twin made a fairly easy adjustment to his new home in Alaska, but the other exhibited behavioural problems that included lying and urinating on the floor.
A defence lawyer said Beagley was faced with difficulties dealing with a child with emotional problems and reached out to the Dr Phil show for help. "It is our feeling Jessica was doing the best she could," he said. " This is a very good, loving family." She will be sentenced on Monday. Child abuse officers said no further action was planned.
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