Last week, Hillary Adams posted a video on YouTube (WARNING – VERY GRAPHIC) of her father beating her with a belt in 2004 when she was 16 years old. Hillary’s father, Judge William Adams, is an Aransas County judge. After the release of this video, many people, including Hillary Adams, are saying that he is not fit to be exercising judgment over others. While some people are calling for Judge Adams to be punished and prosecuted for his actions, his daughter is asking people to “stop threatening him and start offering professional help,” because that is what he truly needs.
The video, which now has close to 2 million views, shows Judge Adams and his wife discussing the need to punish Hillary. Judge Adams asks his wife to remove a younger child from the room and he then proceeds to beat Hillary repeatedly with a belt while yelling at her to “bend down over the bed.” Hillary doesn’t do as he asks, so he just beats her repeatedly with the belt on all areas of her body as she screams “that’s enough” and cries. As he beats her, he continues yelling and swearing at her. The mother comes in and tells her to “turn over like a 16 year old and take it like a grown woman” and then spanks her once and leaves the room.
A couple of minutes later, the father and mother re-enter the room, yelling at her to get on her stomach, and he continues beating her with a different belt, even telling her that she doesn’t deserve to be in the house. All of this was because she put some computer games on her computer. Once the beating and yelling was done, the mother issued a final warning to Hillary to not “touch one other thing on your computer except your schoolwork until you are given notice otherwise. Is that understood?”
According to CNN, this was not a one-time incident and violence was a regular occurrence.
“It did happen regularly, for a period of time, and I could tell, because of the pattern, that things were escalating again,” Hillary Adams, now 23, said on NBC’s “Today.” She said she left her video camera on her dresser recording and covered its light with a scarf in order to capture the video.
While the video was posted last week, it didn’t start getting attention until yesterday when Hillary posted a link to it on reddit, where it has received close to 7,000 comments. It was picked up by Gawker and BlogHer, as well as by many mainstream news outlets. On twitter, Hillary Adams said “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.” However, others are thankful for her for taking the important step of exposing this abuse.
Judge Adams has responded to the release of the video by saying that it is “not as bad as it looks on tape.” He also claimed that Hillary only released the video because he ordered her to bring the car back. Hillary’s mother, who is now divorced from Judge Adams, has also responded to the video, saying that she is “praying for my daughters and me and my family to heal in all ways from the emotional and physical abuse, for the current and continuing abuse of my children and me that has been ongoing to end.”
According to Rita Arens on BlogHer, the Texas Department of Family Services is investigating the video, as there is no statute of limitations on child protective services cases. However, in its statement, CPS added that if it “becomes aware of physical abuse in a home in the past and the victim is now an adult, CPS would investigate only if there are other children in the home and we suspect those children could be at risk of similar abuse.” While Hillary is now an adult, there was a younger girl present at the start of the video. If Judge Adams still has any access to that child, there could be grounds for CPS to investigate.
In addition to a potential CPS investigation, CNN also reported that Judge Adams has been temporarily removed from his duties for the next two weeks while the case is investigated. A Don’t Re-Elect Judge Adams facebook page has been started and there is also a petition calling for him to be banned during his remaining three years on the bench.
Photo credit: Screen capture from YouTube video of beating with inset picture of Judge William Adams from the Aransas County Website.