UPDATE: The Texas judge shown beating his disabled daughter in a 2004 video that went viral earlier this month was suspended with pay on Tuesday, pending the outcome of an investigation into the incident.
Earlier this month, police announced that Aransas County Court-at-Law Judge William Adams would not face child abuse or other assault-related charges for beating his then-16-year-old daughter because the statute of limitations on those crimes had expired.
The Associated Press with more on Tuesday's decision, which was made by the state Supreme Court: "The order makes clear that while Adams agreed to the commission's recommended temporary suspension and waived the hearing and notice requirements, he does not admit 'guilt, fault or wrongdoing' regarding the allegations."
William Adams has not sat on the bench since the infamous video went viral earlier this month, drawing more than 6 million views on YouTube.
Friday, Nov. 4: A Texas judge made infamous this week when his disabled daughter released a 2004 video of him viciously beating her with a belt won't face charges because the statute of limitations has expired, police announced Thursday.
The Associated Press reports that Aransas County Court-at-Law Judge William Adams would have likely been charged with causing injury to a child or other assault-related offenses for the beating of his then-16-year-old daughter, if not for the five-year statute of limitations.
"We believe that there was a criminal offense involved and that there was substantial evidence to indicate that and under normal circumstances ... a charge could have been made," Rockport Police Chief Tim Jayroe said Thursday, adding that officers will discuss the case with federal prosecutors even though it is unlikely that federal charges would apply.
Still, Adams, who presides over child abuse cases as part of his job, may not get off scot-free. The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services – the agency responsible for a portion of his case load – is now investigating him and he’s also the subject of a separate judicial conduct investigation. As fellow Aransas County Judge C.H. Mills Jr. told the AP, "Personally I don't see how he can recover from this."
Adams’s national image problem began last week when his daughter, Hillary Adams, now 23, posted an 8-minute video to YouTube. (Fair warning: the video is rather difficult to watch). In the video, William Adams is shown repeatedly whipping his daughter with a belt despite her sustained pleas for him to stop. According to the video’s description, apparently written by Hillary Adams, the beating was a result of the then 16-year-old downloading music and games illegally from the Internet, and was just one instance of a pattern of physical and emotional abuse targeting both her and her mother, Hallie Adams. Hallie Adams is shown briefly participating in the beating. She and William Adams divorced in 2007.
As of Friday morning, the video had over three-and-a-half million views, with many viewers opting for their own type of Internet vigilante justice.
Both Hillary and William Adams have since talked about the incident to the press. William Adams claims that the video “looks worse than it is,” and released a three-page statement in his defense. As the AP summarizes, he says the video’s release was to “get back at him for telling her he would be reducing the amount of financial support he gives her and taking away her Mercedes.”
On both NBC’s Today show and CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, Hillary Adams has claimed that she posted the video, in part, to encourage her father to get help. She told Cooper, “I wanted to show my father, 'Hey, I think you were in some denial about the way you are treating me and my mother.'”