Mother arrested for putting hot sauce in son's mouth as punishment

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP/ABC News) - The lawyer for an Alaska woman -- who's facing child abuse charges because of a "Dr. Phil" TV show appearance -- says authorities are intruding into a family matter.

The audience saw video of Jessica Beagley disciplining her 7-year-old son by putting hot sauce in his mouth, and by forcing him into a cold shower. But her lawyer says she's done nothing that would warrant a charge of child abuse.

He says she'll plead not guilty at today's arraignment. "Hot saucing is really the new "I'll wash out your mouth with soap," Dr. Henry Paul, Family Psychiatrist said.

For Anchorage's prosecutor, it was all too much. Municipal law there says "Unreasonable discipline" constitutes child abuse.

Prosecutors say that includes the practice known as "Hot-saucing," so Jessica Beagley was charged. "Nothing Jessica has done is criminal. If you give your child food that has hot sauce on it - maybe they eat Mexican food - does that mean its child abuse?," Bill Ingaldson, lawyer for Beagley said.

The boy and his twin brother were adopted by Beagley from RUSSIA. Now that country is investigating.

Hot-saucing has long been a rare - but controversial - method of discipline. Dr. Paul believes it is abuse.

What do you think?  Should the mother be criminally charged for putting hot sauce in her 7-year old's mouth as punishment?  Take our web poll.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.  Information from ABC News was also used in this story.)