The Texas judge who was seen brutally beating his daughter in a video that went viral earlier this month has been suspended by the Texas Supreme Court.
While the State Commission on Judicial Conduct investigates Judge William Adams’ behavior in the video, the Aransas County court-at-law judge will be suspended with pay in the meantime.
The order, signed Tuesday by the clerk, made clear that though Adams would follow the suspension and waive the hearing, he still did not admit fault or wrongdoing regarding the recorded incident in 2004, The Associated Press reported.
The controversy over Adams began when his daughter Hilary Adams, now 23 years old, published a video of her father repeatedly whipping her with a belt when she was 16 for illegally downloading music and games.
Viewers could hear Adams say, “Are you happy? Is it fun to disobey your parents? What happened to you Hilary? Once you were an obedient, nice little girl. Now you lie, cheat and steal.”
The video, secretly taped by the daughter, was purportedly released in retaliation to her father’s threats about taking away her car and cell phone if she did not return to college, the judge later explained, maintaining that all he did was discipline his child for stealing.
But Hilary disputed those claims, saying that she uploaded the video to show that the abuse was escalating and she wanted her father to get help. She also explained to Matt Lauer on the “Today” show that she released the video seven years after the fact because she was no longer a minor and she could finally distance herself from the consequences of exposing her father’s harassment.
The seven-minute clip garnered millions of hits within days of its release on YouTube and sparked outrage across the nation, resulting in thousands of calls to the Aransas county court house and the local police department demanding justice.
Local and state sheriffs, however, could not file criminal charges against Adams because the statute of limitations for his crime had run out.
Many began campaigns and protests against Adams in response, calling for his suspension. Some also started Facebook pages asking people not to re-elect the judge in the near future.
Adams’ ex-wife, also seen in the video, ordered a restraining order against her husband thereafter, preventing him from seeing their 10-year-old daughter without permission. He is currently in custody battle over the child.
Now as Adams, who had ironically dealt with family law cases as a judge, faces suspension, many are relieved that justice will finally be served.
Jim Hmurovich, president and CEO of Prevent Child Abuse America, told The Christian Post, "I am pleased that the Texas Supreme Court has initiated action in this case.”
“Prevent Child Abuse America believes there is sufficient evidence to indicate there are more effective forms of discipline than spanking/corporal punishment, including age appropriate time-outs, restrictions, and honest and open discussions between parents and the child.”
“There is a difference between ‘discipline’ and ‘child abuse’ and hopefully the action of the Texas Court will help define that, using the videotape as a consideration in their decision," Hmurovich concluded.