Video of Texas Judge Beating Daughter Provokes Online Outcry

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A video making the rounds online reveals a troubling history of domestic abuse from a Texas family court judge. The video, which was recorded in 2004, was reportedly posted by Hillary Adams, the daughter of Aransas County Court at Law Judge William Adams, and the one on the receiving end of the judge’s belt. The video shows the judge allegedly whipping his daughter for the very teenage crime of downloading music from the internet.

The video was only recently uploaded to YouTube (warning: it contains disturbing violence) and was accompanied by a very detailed synopsis of the goings-on:

“2004: Aransas County Court-At-Law Judge William Adams took a belt to his own teenage daughter as punishment for using the internet to acquire music and games that were unavailable for legal purchase at the time. 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. The judge’s wife was emotionally abused herself and was severely manipulated into assisting the beating and should not be blamed for any content in this video. The judge’s wife has since left the marriage due to the abuse, which continues to this day, and has sincerely apologized and repented for her part and for allowing such a thing, long before this video was even revealed to exist. Judge William Adams is not fit to be anywhere near the law system if he can’t even exercise fit judgement as a parent himself. Do not allow this man to ever be re-elected again. His “judgement” is a giant farce. Signed, Hillary Adams, his daughter.”

The video was also posted to the site Reddit with the request “please spread.” The poster who identified herself as Hillary Adams, wrote that she had been “holding onto the video until the right time” only posting it after being harassed by her father over the phone. She then “snapped” and uploaded the graphic video.

For those unfamiliar with the popular social news site and its ethics, the Reddit community can be very protective. In fact, few things move faster than a Redditor exacting justice. After seeing the gut-wrenching video, posters to the site leaped into action calling the courthouse, researching the judge and his family court rulings, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, and overloading the courthouse’s website. According to Slate, the local police station has been inundated with phone calls from across the country, and there’s even a Facebook group called “Don’t Re-Elect Judge William Adams.”  In a news release, Judge Burt Mills said the county is aware of the incident and it is under investigation by the police department.

Judge Adams spoke to Corpus Christi news station KRIS-TV and admitted that it was him in the video, explaining that,  “It happened years ago. I apologized.” When asked if he thought the conduct in the video was excessive, Judge Adams said, “It’s not as bad as it looks on tape.” Forbes reports that the county does have an election next week, but Adams’ term is not up this time.

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