Texas Judge William Adams suspended over beating video
Court-at-law Judge William Adams was suspended immediately with pay while the State Commission on Judicial Conduct investigates his behavior. His duties included hearing child-abuse cases.
Adams' now 23-year-old daughter, Hillary, made the video in 2004 and uploaded it to YouTube in late October. It has generated more than 6 million page views and 150,000 comments -- most of them condemning his conduct.
In the video, Adams curses at his daughter, then 16, and uses a belt to whip her 17 times for illegally downloading music and games.
Adams told local media recently that the beating was "not as bad as it looks on tape" and added: "In my mind, I haven't done anything wrong other than discipline my child after she was caught stealing." He said his daughter posted the video because he was taking away her Mercedes.
But Hillary Adams told Matt Lauer on the "Today" show that she had released the video because "the disputes and the harassment were escalating, and finally it was just the straw that broke the camel's back." She added: "I told him I had the video and he brushed it off. ... He didn't seem to think anything of it, and basically dared me to post it."
She told Lauer that she had set up the video camera on her dresser to capture the discipline that routinely occurred in the household.
"It did happen regularly," she said. "I waited seven years [to release it] because back then I was still a minor and living under his roof, and releasing it then, I don't know what would have happened to me, my mother, my little sister. So waiting until today, seven years later, has allowed me pull away and distance myself from the consequences."
Her parents have since divorced, and her mother has custody of her 10-year-old sister. William Adams is fighting a court order that requires him to get permission from his ex-wife before visiting the younger girl.
Photo: Judge William Adams returns after a lunch recess at the Aransas County Courthouse in Rockport, Texas, on Monday. He is fighting for visitation with his 10-year-old daughter after a temporary restraining order was issued, barring him from visiting the girl without permission from her mother, his ex-wife, Hallie Adams. The restraining order was issued following the October posting of a 2004 video on YouTube showing Adams beating his older daughter, Hillary Adams. Credit: Michael Zamora / Corpus Christi Caller-Times / Associated Press