Parents sentenced for Hot Sauce Punishment

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(CBS) - An Idaho mother, stepfather and grandmother have been sentenced to jail for abusing their children using hot sauce.

Rose Bemis, Karen Pacheco, and Jose Pacheco all pleaded guilty to child abuse.

Prosecutors played a 20-minute videotape where the family makes fun of a boy while he is forced to eat sauce so spicy, it could have caused injury if taken in large quantities.

Detectives say the hot sauce was used as a punishment.

"I wouldn't wish this, the things that these kids have went through on anybody. And it was horrendous what they went through, the stories that had been told to me has been, were heart wrenching," said Det. Curtis Wood.

The parents force fed their child Gold Caps World's Hottest Sauce, which is described as being 35 times hotter than Tabasco sauce.

Bemis, the kids 68-year old grandmother, will spend three days in jail. The mother, Karen, will spend six days in jail. And the stepfather, Jose, will spend 13 days in jail.

In the video, the parents deny water to a child, despite multiple requests.

The boy also asks to be excused, and complains about the pain.

He was allowed to leave the table after he ate a bowl of food that the prosecution contends had lots of hot sauce in it. 

The judge, in his verdict, said the defendants were guilty of torture.

"I did try it. I didn't think it'd be fair to comment on it if I didn't. I did take a taste of it and it is hot, it made me sick to my stomach," said Wood.

This investigation started when a resource officer at Madison Junior High noticed signs of abuse including bruises and even markings on the child's face that appeared to be burns.

The three abused children were removed from the home immediately and placed in foster care. A fourth child, who is the biological son of both parents, is still living with them.


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