Video of Texas judge whipping daughter goes viral
Is this video a daughter's revenge on an overly strict and abusive father? Or a misleading glimpse of a Texas judge punishing his daughter for illegally downloading games and music against his orders?
Aransas County authorities said Wednesday that they had launched an investigation into the circumstances surrounding this video. Uploaded on YouTube, it purports to show Judge William Adams cursing at his teenage daughter and using a belt to whip her for violating his orders to stay away from the Internet.
Adams has agreed to step aside pending the investigation. He told local TV station KRIS, "It happened years ago. ... I apologized" and added that it's "not as bad as it looks on tape" and that "more will come out" during the probe.
But the court of public opinion has heard enough. The video has logged nearly 695,000 viewings since it was uploaded Oct. 27, sparking public outrage and nearly 36,000 comments, including calls for Adams' firing.
"That is beyond a good ole spanking," one YouTube viewer wrote.
"He should be removed from the bench immediately," another wrote.
"I've never been more disgusted by watching anything ever. My God...," wrote a third.
So many calls, faxes and emailed complaints have rained down on Aransas County in recent days that officials took the unusual step of posting a message on the county's website. It assures the public that an investigation is underway and pleads for an end to the barrage of hate mail. The statement says, in part:
"Aransas County is aware of the video posted on YouTube regarding County Court-at-Law Judge William Adams, and the matter is now under review by the Police Department. Please refrain from communication with County offices or the Sheriff's Department on this matter until the review has been completed. Calls, emails and faxes only create disruptions for other ongoing county business. The public's cooperation would be most appreciated."
The daughter, Hillary Adams, now 23, told the Associated Press that she feels some regret about posting the video but hopes it will force him to get help. She said she set up the video because she "knew something was about to happen."
As part of the YouTube upload, Hillary Adams provided more details about the incident. She said it took place in 2004 "as punishment for using the Internet to acquire music and games that were unavailable for legal purchase at the time." It was unclear why she held onto it all this time, and why she decided to post it now.
Referring to herself in the third person, Hillary Adams said she blames her actions on a medical condition. "She has had ataxic cerebral palsy from birth that led her to a passion for technology, which was strictly forbidden by her father's backwards views."
In the video, her father can be heard cursing and hollering at her for disobeying him while the girl cries out. The footage also shows the girl's mother engaging in the punishment. The daughter says her mother was not at fault because she was operating under the father's control.
The daughter also calls for her father to step down.
"Judge William Adams is not fit to be anywhere near the law system if he can't even exercise fit judgment as a parent himself. Do not allow this man to ever be reelected again. His 'judgment' is a giant farce. Signed, Hillary Adams, his daughter."
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