After Viral YouTube Video Shows Texas Judge Beating Teen Daughter, Probes and Public Outrage

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A disturbing video posted on YouTube showing a Texas judge beating his then-teenage daughter with a belt and cursing at her years ago has gone viral, reportedly prompting multiple investigations and a number of retaliatory actions by outraged members of the public.

Aransas County Court-at-Law Judge William Adams has admitted to the 2004 incident, saying he apologized for it but “it’s not as bad as it looks on tape,” local television station KRIS reports. Adams’ then-wife was also captured on the video participating in the prolonged beating. According to the dialogue captured on the video, the beating was prompted by the girl’s use of music file-sharing software installed on her computer.

Adams is quoted as saying that he has contacted judicial discipline authorities to report the matter and that “more will come out” during an investigation.

It appears that the YouTube video was posted by his daughter, who was quoted by KRIS and others that she wanted to bring public attention to the abuse but now may have some regrets about all the publicity, according to CNN.

Meanwhile, police in Rockport are also reviewing the incident. “Obviously it is a very disturbing video. We in my office, as well as everyone on earth, is taking a look at it at this time,” Aransas County Attorney Richard Bianchi told the Express-News.

Adams remains on the bench and has agreed with Bianchi to let a visiting judge hear any cases involving children, the article says.

County Judge Burt Mills Jr. has asked the public not to contact county offices about the matter after an apparent deluge of complaints.

A notice published on the county’s website today likewise says Mills has “announced that 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.”

Additional coverage:

Slate: “Does Texas Judge William Adams Deserve Internet Vigilantism for Allegedly Beating His Daughter?”

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