William Adams, Texas Judge, Cleared Beating Hillary Adams, His Daughter

November 4th, 2011 by Staff

www.wusa9.com - Washington, D.C. (WUSA/AP) — The shocking caught-on-tape beating of a teenaged girl by her father in Texas has sparked a renewed discussion about corporal punishment and when it may cross the line to become a crime.

The father in the case, William Adams, is a family law judge in Aransas County Texas.

Late Thursday Texas officials said Adams won’t face any charges because the statutes of limitations have passed. The video was shot 7 years ago.

Rockport Police Chief Tim Jayroe said Adams likely would have been charged with causing injury to a child and other assault offenses if the five-year statutes of limitations hadn’t expired.

Adams is still being investigated by the state Department of Family and Protective Services, which has requested he not preside over any of its cases.

“This to me is an assault,” said Rockville family therapist Susan Ward, who specializes in abuse. “I don’t think there is any way you could call that discipline, ever.  I think it’s an insult to parents to call that discipline.”

Ward says corporal punishment crosses legal and ethical lines if there is an intention to injure the child or humiliate the child through verbal abuse.

Ward believes spanking is not effective.  “You are teaching through aggression and fear,” she said.

Corporal punishment in families in legal in all 50 states.  Twenty states allow corporal punishment in schools.

Howard Phillips of the Conservative Caucus says spanking “a little stronger than a love pat” is appropriate discipline that is condoned by the Bible.  “It delivers a message and tells the child you care about his behavior … and that you love him.”

Meanwhile, police launched an investigation Wednesday of the video of Adams savagely beating his daughter with a belt during a tirade 7 years ago when she was a teenager.

The nearly 8-minute video, viewed more than 2.2 million times as of Thursday afternoon, shows Aransas County Court-at-Law Judge William Adams lashing his then-16-year-old daughter in the legs more than a dozen times and growing increasingly irate while she screams and refuses to turn over on a bed to be beaten. The video was uploaded last week.

Tim Jayroe, the police chief in William Adams’ hometown of Rockport, a Gulf Coast community about 200 miles south of Houston, said Wednesday that he’s asked the Texas Rangers to assist in investigating whether the video shows anything criminal happened. He said his department began investigating after receiving phone calls from several concerned people who watched the secretly recorded 2004 video.

No one answered the door at William Adams’ home in Rockport on Wednesday, and repeated calls to his office rang unanswered. However, the 51-year-old judge told Corpus Christi television station KZTV on Wednesday that the video “looks worse than it is,” and that he doesn’t expect to be disciplined or punished because of it.

“In my mind, I haven’t done anything wrong other than discipline my child after she was caught stealing,” Adams said. “And I did lose my temper, but I’ve since apologized.”

Reached at her mother’s home in Portland, Texas, Hillary Adams told The Associated Press that her father became irate after she was caught illegally downloading media files she hadn’t paid for. She said she feels some regret over posting the video because she said she doesn’t want to see her father punished, but that she hopes it will spur him to seek help.

“He’s supposed to be a judge who exercises fit judgment,” she said.

Aransas County Sheriff Bill Mills said that since the video was posted, William Adams has received threatening phone calls and faxes at the courthouse.

“People are upset, understandably upset. But emotions can’t really run this thing,” Mills said.

On Wednesday, a neighbor said she saw Adams packing up to leave with bags, a briefcase, clothes and rifles, which his girlfriend carried to the truck.

“He looked like he was here for a purpose,” said Stephanie Perry, who lives across the street.
A secretary for the William Adams’ attorney, William Dudley, said Wednesday that Dudley was unavailable to comment.

In the video, Adams is apparently unaware the camera is on when he enters the room, turns off the light and tries forcing his daughter onto the bed to be beaten.

“Go get the belt. The big one. I’m going to spank her now,” Adams is heard saying in the clip’s opening seconds.

A few minutes into the video, a woman appears and barks at the girl to “turn over like a 16-year-old and take it! Like a grown woman!” For about a minute, the ordeal appears to have ended after both adults leave the room and shut the door. But the judge then storms back into the room and the beating resumes.

Hillary Adams said she set up the camera because she knew “something was about to happen.” Toward the end of the video, her father shouts that he plans to beat the girl “into submission” and rants about having a computer in the house and the problems it causes. The video ends with the adult woman telling her to leave the room and sleep on the sofa.
Elected in 2001, Adams draws an annual salary of $138,055 as Aransas County’s top judge. He dealt with at least 349 family law cases in the past year, nearly 50 of which involved state caseworkers seeking to determine whether parents were fit to raise their children.

Texas’ Department of Family and Protective Services is aware of the video and “will take the appropriate steps in this matter,” agency spokesman Patrick Crimmins said in an email. He said the agency would have no further comment.
Steve Fischer, a longtime attorney in Rockport, called Adams fair and a “better than average” judge. He said Adams sometimes shows anger, but not in a way that would be considered unusual.

Children’s advocates roundly condemned the beating as abuse. However, investigators may decide that the judge’s actions, while shocking to many, weren’t criminal.

The lines between what’s deemed child abuse and what’s considered an acceptable level of discipline differ in various parts of the country and among various social groups, though the use of objects such as belts and sticks is usually seen as beyond any normal physical punishment, said David Finkelhor, a University of New Hampshire sociology professor who heads the school’s Crimes against Children Research Center.

Jim Hopper, a clinical instructor in psychology at Harvard Medical School and a child abuse expert, said there is no doubt that the judge’s actions crossed the line.
“This is an act of brutal violence,” Hopper said.

“To beat someone into submission is not discipline. To beat a child into submission makes it harder for that child to take in rules and the values that the parent believes they are imposing on the child.”

Hillary Adams’ parents divorced in 2007 after 22 years of marriage, according to court records. The divorce petition states that “the marriage has become insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities,” but a counter-petition filed by Adams’ ex-wife states that the divorce was filed under grounds of “mental cruelty.”

Court records show that the couple had another daughter who was 6 at the time.


3 Responses

  1. Babsinator

    I WAS MARRIED FOR 21 MONTHS TO AN ABUSIVE MAN. I HAD NEED TO APPLY IN THAT SHORT TIME TO FILE FOR 3 DOMESTIC VIOLENCE INJUNCTIONS (DVI). MY EX MANIPULATED ME INTO DROPPING THE FIRST DVI BY SAYING HE WOULD SEEK HELP WHICH HE DID VERY BRIEFLY. WHEN THE DOCTOR POINTED OUT THAT MY EX’S BEHAVIOR WAS INAPPORPRIATE, MY EX REFUSED TO CONTINUE GETTING HELP BECAUSE THE DR. WAS A ‘PUSSY’. I THEN ENJOYED THE RELATIVE PEACE OF A PERMINATE DVI WHICH IN THE STATE I LIVED IN WAS ONLY A YEAR. MY EX CONSTANTLY BROKE THE DVI, BROKE INTO MY YARD TO LOOK INTO WINDOWS, CALLED, BEGGED ME TO TAKE HIM BACK, EVEN GOT ARRESTED FOR BREAKING THE ORDER. STILL IT WAS BETTER THAT DEALING WITH HIM IN THE HOME EVERY DAY.
    WHEN THE DVI EXPIRED HE MOVED BACK IN. IT WAS HELL. WHEN I ATTEMPTED TO GET ANOTHER DVI THE JUDGE WAS REPLACED AT THE LAST MINUTE BY MY EX’S LAWYER’S FORMER PARTNER WHO HAD ALREADY RECUSED HIMSELF FROM OUR CASE. OF COUSE EVEN THOUGH MY EX’S BEHAVIOR WAS MORE EGREGIOUS THAN EVER I WAS DENIED A DVI. SMALL WONDER. IT IS AMAZING HOW CROCKED THE “JUSTICE” SYSTEM IS.

    THE FORMER MRS ADAMS IS A PIECE OF WORK TOO. BUT WHAT SHE SAID SPEAKS VOLUMES. ‘TURN OVER AND TAKE IT LIKE A WOMAN’ TELLS ME THAT SHE HAD TO TURN OVER A TIME OR TWO IN HER MARRIAGE WITH THIS ANIMAL. BUT TO INSTRUCT YOUR DAUGHTER TO ACCEPT ABUSE AND TO STAY 22 YEARS AND CREATE YET ANOTHER DAUGHTER IS INACCUSEABLE. AND I SHOULD KNOW. THAT IS WHY I DIDN’T STAY, THAT I DIDN’T PUT UP WITH IT AND INSTRUCT MY CHILDREN NOT TO TAKE ABUSE OR TO BE ABUSERS.

    THIS JUDGE REMINDS ME OF THAT S.O.B. THAT WOULDN’T GIVE ME THE LAST DVI. THAT JUDGE ADAMS PRESIDES OVER FAMILY COURT TURNS MY STOMACH. I’M SURE THAT MANY WOMEN & CHILDREN DO NOT GET THE PROPER PROTECTION FROM THE COURTS BECAUSE OF THIS MAJOR HYPOCRITE.

    IF YOU TAKE YOUR BELT OFF AND SMACK A TOTAL SRANGER 20 TIMES WITH IT YOU WILL GO TO JAIL FOR ASSAULT WITH A DANGEROUS WEAPON. THEREFORE IF YOU DO THAT TO A CHILD YOU NEED TO BE GOING TO JAIL ALSO. EVEN IF YOU ARE THE CHILD’S PARENT.

    IF YOU NEED TO SPANK YOUR CHILD, A SMACK OR TWO TO GET THEIR ATTENTION SHOULD DO IT. THEN THE DISAPLINE SHOULD START. TAKE AWAY A FAVORITE TOY, ACTIVITY, OR PRIVILAGE, ADD CHORES, ASSIGN WRITING ASSIGNMENTS, AND ANY OTHER THING THAT YOUR CHILD SIMPLY HATES TO DO OR DO WITHOUT. SIMPLE.

    JUDGE ADAMS NEEDS TO BE AT THE LEAST DISBARRED AND DENIED HIS PENTION.

  2. Hugh G Wiener PhD

    Well I gotta say at first I was all ready to defend this dick. I thought she had done something really bad. Then I found out through listening to the show and seeing the video she didn’t do ANY THING to give this animal the right to beat her like he did! I agree with most in “spare not the rod that spoils the child” but Jesus Christ to BEAT your own flesh & blood like that this guy should be tossed in with a bunch of horny homo muscle builders let the queens have him, let’s see if he likes the belt! And then the sausage…Ned should supervise…

    But the sad reality is the good ol boy mentality will most likely afford him a “get outta jail free card” Hey ain’t he in Texas? Lynch mob anyone?

  3. Alex

    ^ Hey caps lady, yawn ^
    This is why you take you kids into a small room, tell them to put their hands above their head and against the wall, and THEN use the belt. You stay a lot calmer when you don’t have to yell as loud while you whip nothing but butt. Plus the closet is great solitary confinement… 45 minutes in there and you don’t have to worry about continual disobedience. Work for my parents on us three boys, and we are all successful and strong individuals.

Leave a Comment

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment. You are free to voice your opinion but please keep it clean. Any comments using profanity will be rejected.