A Texas family law judge who was videotaped beating his cerebal-palsy-stricken daughter with a belt is being investigated today by police.
Judge William Adams, who has ruled on child abuse cases throughout his career, is seen in a webcam video from 2004 beating his daughter with a belt and cursing at her for close to 10 minutes. The daughter, Hillery Adams, secretely taped the encounter, but only recently uploaded it to YouTube and the social sharing site Reddit.
"Judge William Adams took a belt to his own teenage daughter as punishment for using the internet to acquire music and games that were unavailable for legal purchase at the time," Hillary Adams, now 23, wrote in the text accompanying the video.
Hillary Adams was 16 when the video was made, and, as a lifelong sufferer of cerebral palsy, said she had a passion for technology that her father detested. She said she received the beating for using her computer when she was forbidden from doing so.
Graphic Video Warning: Click Here to Watch
The video went viral on Reddit, racking up more than 500,000 views since it was first uploaded Oct. 27, and inspiring the wrath of the community of readers there, who posted his home address, phone number, and workplace contact information.
Readers reportedly began sending pizzas to the judge's home all through the night after it was posted and encouraged viewers from all over the country to call the police, sheriff, and judicial departments of Aransas County to demand an investigation.
Video of Judge Beating Daughter Goes Viral
Today, Aransas County Court, which employed the judge, said the matter is now under investigation by police. The court confirmed that the man in the video was William Adams.
"My father's harassment was getting really bad, so I decided to finally publish the video that I had been sitting on for seven years," Hillary Adams told ABC News affiliate KXTV.
"It had happened before, and had been escalating," Adams said. "I set up a camera, and I caught it."
Judge Adams also spoke to the news station, claiming that "it's not as bad as it looks on tape."
"It happened years ago.. I apologized," he told the station.
The judge also said he has notified the state's Commission on Judicial Conduct, which investigates and prosecutes allegations of misconduct by judges in Texas. Adams said that "more will come out" during the investigation.
Hillary Adams has since Tweeted about the explosion of attention the video has received, asking her supporters not to hate her father, but instead to try and get her father to seek help.
"It is my wish that people stop threatening my father and start offering professional help. That is what he really needs," she wrote. "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."
A Facebook page opposing the judge's re-election has also been established.
Calls to Judge Adams' office went unreturned. Efforts to contact Hillary Adams also went unreturned.