An Anchorage mother faces a charge of child abuse for a video that aired on "The Dr. Phil Show." Jessica Beagley made her adopted Russian son put hot sauce in his mouth and forced him to take a cold shower, then sent the video to the talk show.
The video aired last November, but then it hit the Internet -- causing many to call for Beagley to be punished for her actions.
Municipal Prosecutor Cindy Franklin will officially charge her with one count of child abuse on Friday.
"She's charged with one count of child abuse under 8.30.030119 and that is physical injuring -- cruelly punishing torture, or cruelly confining a child," Franklin said.
Beagley's attorney, Bill Ingaldson, says there is more to the story.
"If you look at the overall picture and the whole picture of this family, this is a family that cares very, very much about all of their kids," Ingaldson said.
He says there are no other instances of abuse or neglect in the family, and that Beagley is a loving mother trying to do what's best in what can be a difficult situation.
"There are some challenges, some behavioral challenges that that they're trying their best to deal with," Ingaldson said. "And whether people think what they did is appropriate or not, or is something you or I would do, that's different than a situation where someone has been -- is being charged criminally."
Olga Byrnes works for the adoption agency that helped the Beagleys get their Russian sons. She says there has been outrage in Russia, but the agency stands behind Jessica.
"This is good family," Byrnes said. "I personally, I met this family numerous times, and I remember them they were very excited about the Russian adoption."
Beagley, whose husband is an officer with the Anchorage Police Department, has six other children living at her home. She is not expected to attend her Friday arraignment.
Contact Rebecca Palsha at email@example.com