Judge William Adams, who was seen in a video beating his daughter with a belt, has been suspended with pay from the bench.
Williams had been overseeing family case law, often determining whether or not parents are fit to raise their children. Pending an investigation into the video, Adams will not be allowed to weigh in on any court cases.
According to the Associated Press, Judge 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.”
Earlier this month, Adams and his daughter had a fight common to many American families. He wanted her to go back to college, and if she didn’t he would take away her car and cell phone, both of which he paid for. She offered to buy the car from him in a payment plan. He refused.
Here’s where the plot diverts: the daughter, Hillary Adams played what she thought would be a trump card. She threatened to publish a video she had been holding on to for seven years. William Adams, didn’t budge. So she uploaded the video to YouTube and over the weekend, the video went viral.
In the video, Adams is seen beating his then-16-year-old daughter with a belt, over and over again. It is a difficult seven minutes to watch, but it has been viewed more than 6 million times.
Hillary Adams spoke on the “Today Show” after the video went viral, saying she hoped it would help her father get the help he needed. Judge Adams, meanwhile, said the video made his punishment seem worse than it was, and that his daughter had been illegally downloading games off the Internet.
The video was submitted to Reddit, an online message board, which started a campaign to remove Judge Adams from the bench. The State Commission on Judicial Conduct opened an investigation into the judge after it was flooded with calls, e-mails and faxes.
Judge Adams was in court Monday for a separate legal matter. His wife sued to change their joint-custody agreement for their 10-year-old daughter. Earlier in the month, a judge placed a temporary restraining order on Judge Adams, barring him from being alone with his younger daughter. A ruling is expected Wednesday.
Since the video’s release, Hillary Adams has announced on Twitter that she is working to extend the statue of limitations on child abuse, which is typically around five years. Adams argues it is not fair when a victim is only 5 years old.