A video that claims to show a Texas judge beating his daughter with what looks like a leather belt for downloading games off the Internet has gone viral, in an apparent effort by the victim to ruin her abusive father's chances for re-election.
The video is difficult to watch: Judge William Adams of Rockport, Texas, is allegedly heard verbally abusing and repeatedly whipping Hillary, his 16-year-old daughter, with what appears to be a leather belt, throwing her onto her bed and grabbing her before whipping her again.
The man believed to be Adams can be heard yelling, "Bend over the [expletive] bed. Lay down or I'll smack you in the [expletive] face!"
"That's enough!" the daughter pleads, but Adams throws her back on the bed and beats her again, pausing to breathe before continuing what many have described as physical abuse.
"Didn't I tell you to take that [expletive] thing off your computer?" Adams says, before a woman believed to be his wife enters the room and takes the belt from her husband.
"You turn over," she tells her daughter. "You turn over like a 16-year-old and take it!"
Adams and his wife then take turns physically and verbally attacking their daughter for several minutes. However, the woman can be seen taking the belt from Adams who repeatedly tries to reclaim it. Judge Adams eventually leaves the room and returns with a different belt.
"That's what it's come to," Adams says at the end of the beating. "That's what it's come to."
The video was uploaded by Adams' daughter and has been picked up by several news websites around the world after gaining notoriety on Reddit.com with a thread titled "Family law judge beats own daughter for using the internet, please spread."
There has also been several Facebook sites created as an attack on Adams, including "Don't Re-Elect Judge William Adams" and "Prosecute Judge William Adams". The latter page was reportedly created by Hillary Adams, claims that the young woman was beaten because of her father's "backward views" about technology and that his wife, who is shown beating Hillary in the video, was a victim of abuse herself and "severely manipulated into assisting the beating and should not be blamed for any content in this video."
The statement on the page reads: "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 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."
The video was recorded in 2004 but not uploaded onto YouTube until recently, where it has attracted nearly 500,000 views, more than 8,000 "likes" and over 22,000 comments.
Hillary told KZTV-10, a television station in Corpus Christi, Texas, that she wanted to bring attention to the physical abuse she had suffered as a child.
"It had happened before, and had been escalating," Adams said.
"I set up a camera, and I caught it...My father's harassment was getting really bad, so I decided to finally publish the video that I had been sitting on for 7 years," she added.
Other reports of outrage about Adams' alleged poor judgment and views on child abuse have also surfaced online.
In an online discussion regarding child abuse on the Rockport, Texas, section on Topix.com weeks before the video was released, a commenter said: "Judge William Adams has held that a child should be ignored when the child reports what a child psychologist has described as 'horrific child abuse.'"
The commenter added, "He has held that a child's report of child abuse is no evidence and that a parent and her lawyer who relies on what a child says should be sanctioned. He has ruled that it is frivolous to believe a child merely because the child is a child."
Due to the anonymity of the Internet, these comments have yet to be confirmed, although it must be noted that several similar allegations were found online, well before the abuse video was uploaded.
Although the Facebook pages indicate that Adams is up for re-election on Nov. 8, a receptionist at the Aransas County court house told The Christian Post Wednesday that the Rockport judge is not up for re-election this year. The election is for local amendments, she said.
Calls to Adams' office and cell phone went unanswered.
Here is a link to the video, which has graphic language and violence.