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.
Beagley's 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.
In the video, Beagley is punishing the boy for receiving three reports of bad behavior from his school. She says earlier methods of discipline -- including spankings and forced exercise -- didn't stop him from acting out and lying.
Municipal law includes examples of unreasonable discipline, including the scalding, branding or burning of a child. Prosecutors say that would apply to hot sauce.
But the defense lawyer says the children haven't had physical injuries.
The case has attracted attention in Russia because the boy and his twin brother were adopted from Russia when they were 5.