After an angry phone confrontation last week with her father, Texas law judge William Adams, Hillary Adams decided to play a trump card she held onto for seven years.
She logged onto YouTube and uploaded a video of herself at age 16 that shocked the Internet. In it, an out-of-control angry Judge Adams lashes her repeatedly with a sturdy leather belt, as she cries and begs him to stop.
In an interview with the “Today” show, Adams and her mother, Hallie Adams, discussed the release of the video and their hope that the resulting outcry would spur Judge Adams into getting help. (You can watch the seven-minute video here, though be prepared for stomach-churning brutality and bad language.)
After the video went viral, outraged Internet users flooded the Rockport, Texas police department with calls. Police Chief Tim Jayroe said his office has opened a criminal investigation, and the Aransas County Court has put Judge Adams’ cases on hold.
Judge Adams told a local television station Wednesday that he did nothing wrong and was simply disciplining his child. Hillary Adams had been illegally downloading video games to her computer. In the video, Judge Adams can be heard yelling about the problems the computer has caused in the house and how he regrets the decision to allow his daughter access to it.
Hillary Adams wrote in the video description, “Judge William Adams is not fit to be anywhere near the law system if he can’t even exercise fit judgement as a parent himself. Do not allow this man to ever be re-elected again. His ‘judgement’ is a giant farce. Signed, Hillary Adams, his daughter.”
Judge Adams is one of the Aransas County’s top judges, overseeing family law, including many cases which determine whether parents are fit to raise their children, the Associated Press reports.
The video may not be cause enough for the judge to be found guilty of any criminal behavior, however. There is a five-year statue of limitations on child abuse.
Hillary Adams, now 23, wrote on Twitter, “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.”