Thursday, November 3, 2011

Texas judge confirms video of him beating daughter, says 'I lost my temper'

Blog authors note:
Here is a good example of the sadistic people who run family courts and make judgements against parents who truly love their children and which many are in front of these sadists due to false allegations.

By By Tracy Sabo and Ashley Hayes, CNN

Dallas (CNN) -- A Texas judge faces a police investigation and judicial probe after a video showing him beating his then-16-year-old disabled daughter was posted on the Internet.

The graphic video drew international outrage after it was posted by a woman who said she was the victim of the beating seven years ago and that her parents -- including her father, Aransas County, Texas, Court-At-Law Judge William Adams -- were the ones seen beating and cursing at her in the video.

On Wednesday afternoon, Judge Adams was temporarily relieved of his duties for the next two weeks, and a visiting judge will take over his caseload while the matter is being investigated, according to the office of Aransas County Administrative Judge Burt Mills.

No court dates were scheduled this week, Mills' office said.

In an interview with KZTV outside his Rockport, Texas, home Wednesday, Adams confirmed to a reporter that he was the man beating his daughter with a belt and a board on the video, taped in 2004.

"She's mad because I've ordered her to bring the car back, in a nutshell, but yeah, that's me. I lost my temper," Adams told the TV station. "Her mother was there, she wasn't hurt ... it was a long time ago ... I really don't want to get into this right now because as you can see my life's been made very difficult over this child."

Adams continued: "In my mind I have not done anything wrong other than discipline my child when she was caught stealing. I did lose my temper, I've apologized. It looks worse than it is."

Speaking via phone to Texas television station KRIS, a woman who identified herself as Hillary Adams, the daughter in the video, said she posted the video, and criticized her father for "making light of the situation."

"I just can't believe he would say something like, he doesn't think it's a big deal," she said.

She told KRIS she set up the camera to record the incident seven years ago, but waited for "the right time" to release the video.

"Waiting this long to publish it has enabled me to look at it with hindsight and not be so caught up in the passion of the moment," Hillary Adams said. "I think we do, my mother and I, we do need to try to move on past the anger and just concentrate on getting counseling and help."

Receiving an outpouring of support after posting the video has been like a form of therapy, she told KRIS, which is based in Corpus Christi, Texas.

"People are believing us now, instead of calling us liars like they have in the past," she said.

Aransas County Attorney Richard Bianchi said his office has been overwhelmed with calls and e-mails, including some from overseas, since the video went viral on the Internet.

"Just a sad day. It's unfortunate for all the people in that video. It doesn't bode well for the image of our community or our judiciary or our legal community in Aransas County," Bianchi said.

When asked if Judge Adams could continue to work under the media attention and while the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct investigates, Bianchi replied: "That depends on his state of mind. He'll have to look himself in the mirror and ask if he can conduct himself fairly and make good decisions."

Judge Adams is up for re-election in three years, Judge Mills told CNN. He was elected to a four-year term last year, said Aransas County Clerk Peggy Friebele.

Asked if there were any similar or past incidents in the longtime judge's personnel record, Bianchi stated: "Nothing involving the county attorney's office... He, like all of us, has his personal life struggles... he had a divorce." Adams was the county judge, an administrative position, before being elected as a county court-at-law judge about 10 years ago, Bianchi said.

A person identifying herself as Hillary Adams said in posting the video to the sharing site Reddit she decided to post it after receiving a "barrage of harassment" over the phone from her father.

The video, apparently shot on a webcam, was also posted to YouTube. In that posting, the person identifying herself as Hillary Adams said the beating occurred in 2004, when her father was punishing her for using the Internet "to acquire music and games that were unavailable for legal purchase at the time."

The video posting said, "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 re-elected again. His 'judgment' is a giant farce. Signed, Hillary Adams, his daughter."

CNN tried repeatedly on Wednesday to reach William Adams at his Rockport, Texas, office, but received a constant busy signal.

But Adams told Texas television station KRIS that the conduct is "not as bad as it looks on tape." The judge said he had contacted judicial review officials in Austin and "more will come out" in the investigation, KRIS reported

Meanwhile, Aransas County Administrative Judge Mills told CNN that he spoke with Adams on Wednesday morning.

"I talked to him this morning and he was pretty upset," Mills said. He added that Adams was due to be off from work Wednesday for personal reasons.

Judge Adam's ex-wife, Hallie Adams, posted a comment on Facebook about the video, according to KRIS.

The posting attributed to Hallie Adams states: "I am praying for my daughters and me and my family to heal in all ways from emotional and physical abuse, for the current and continuing abuse of my children and me that has been ongoing to end -- starting now -- for my daughters to both finally be able to go to counseling both individually and as a family group with their dad's approval, encouragement, involvement and support, for him to finally make amends to all of us, talk openly with us, and take the first steps to letting our broken family heal."

A page called "Don't Re-Elect Judge William Adams" also sprang up on Facebook, attracting more than 13,000 "likes" by Wednesday night. Messages were posted by users in countries including Australia, the Netherlands and Guatemala, among others, and a Spanish-language version of the video was posted on YouTube.

"This man doesn't deserve power," said a posting on the Facebook page. "He doesn't know how to use it."

A person identifying herself as Hillary Adams, on a Twitter account using the same username as the posting on Reddit, tweeted to CNN, "I'm not sure how much I should say, except that above all we need to help my father instead of condemning him."

In another tweet, the person said, "I'm feeling some regret for publishing the video because to ruin my own father is heavy indeed. But I really want him to seek help."

The video was brought to authorities' attention about 9 p.m. Tuesday, Rockport Police Chief Tim Jayroe told CNN, and authorities are investigating to determine its authenticity.

Aransas County District Attorney Patrick Flanigan told CNN authorities are looking at numerous factors, including the child's age and the statute of limitations.

The law is complex on which charges could be brought, he said, and which statutes may apply -- which is all speculation until the video is confirmed to be authentic.

"We're in a fact-finding situation now to determine what is true," he said, and the district attorney's office will get updates from the police department about the investigation.

In addition, he said, his office will look at how the law has changed in the past couple of years, as there could have been different laws in effect at the time.

The possibility of an alleged abuser holding a position of authority such as a judge "doesn't matter and shouldn't matter" in the investigation, District Attorney Flanigan said, adding, "it will be a normal review."

As a judge, Adams handles misdemeanor cases, including family-related and juvenile court issues, Flanigan said. Those cases rarely move to the criminal side or cross to his purview, he said.

"We want to get to the bottom of it ... regardless of who the person is," he said.

The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct declined comment on the matter Wednesday, but it said it was aware of the situation. A woman answering the phone said the commission has been "overwhelmed."

Hillary Adams "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," according to the posting on the YouTube video. "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."

Attempts by CNN to contact Hillary Adams' mother were not immediately successful Wednesday.

The video is punctuated by cracks of the man's belt and the girl's screams and cries.

At one point, the man says to his near-hysterical daughter, "What happened to you, Hillary? Once you were an obedient, nice little girl. Now you lie, cheat and steal."

At another point in the 7 1/2-minute video, he yells at her, "You want to put some more computer games on? You want some more?"

"Are you happy?" he asks her. "Disobeying your parents? You don't deserve to f---ing be in this house."

He also berates the older woman, who identifies herself as the girl's mother, for allowing a "f---ing computer" in the house.

The older woman also strikes the girl with a belt once, and near the end of the video instructs the girl not to "touch one other thing on the computer besides your schoolwork until you are given notice otherwise."

The girl was apparently 16 at the time the video is taken, as the older woman at one point instructs her to "turn over like a 16-year-old and take it."

Judge Adams' work schedule will be reassessed as new information is revealed in the investigation, Mills' office said.

Police and the district attorney are taking the investigation seriously, Jayroe, the police chief, said. Investigators have not yet spoken to Hillary Adams or her family, he said, and have not tried to contact William Adams.

"We would want to talk to her," he said of Hillary Adams.

Jayroe said his department has asked the Texas Department of Public Safety for assistance with an investigator. "It's the first time in 22 years we've asked for assistance," he said.


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