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Aransas County Court-at-Law Judge William Adams likely would have been charged with causing injury to a child or other assault-related offenses for the 2004 beating of his then-16-year-old daughter, but the five-year statutes of limitations expired, Rockport Police Chief Tim Jayroe said.
"We believe that there was a criminal offense involved and that there was substantial evidence to indicate that and under normal circumstances ... a charge could have been made," Jayroe said. He said the district attorney determined he couldn't bring charges, and that police would discuss the case with federal prosecutors even though he doesn't believe federal charges would apply.
"If the public must know, just prior to the YouTube upload, a concerned father shared with his 23-year-old daughter that he was unwilling to continue to work hard and be her primary source of financial support, if she was going to simply 'drop out,' and strive to achieve no more in life than to work part-time at a video game store," the judge said in a statement.
Hillary and her mother, Hallie Adams, spoke with Cooper about what they called a dysfunctional home where violence was a regular occurrence. The mother participated in the videotaped beating, but has since apologized. She said her former husband told her to help administer the punishment.
"I thought he was a monster," Hallie Adams said about her review of the video. "I thought that I was a witch."
Hallie has since left her husband and apologized to her daughter, she said on the Today show.
"I was completely brainwashed and controlled," Hallie said, noting that her husband struggled with addiction, but didn't offer details on what kind. "I did every single thing that he did. When I leave the room he is telling me what to say, what to do."
Her father questioned her motives and timing.
"Perhaps Hillary Adams should explain, if she felt she was raised by a tyrannical father, a claim shared with no one until five years after adulthood, why she insisted on living with her father and not her mother from the time of her parent's divorce, until she moved out on her own," William Adams said. "Hillary Adams has been living on her own for some time, and has been an adult for almost six years, so why post the video in late 2011?"
Now, Hillary Adams said her father has suffered enough.
"I think he's been punished enough just by seeing this go public like this and I think he really needs help and rehabilitation. We need to get him counseling," told the Today show.
Hillary Adams, now 23, posted the 8-minute clip on YouTube last week that shows her father viciously lashing her with a belt and trying to force her to bend over her bed to be beaten despite her wails and pleas to stop. The clip had received more than 2.4 million hits as of Thursday, and police began investigating Wednesday after hearing from concerned citizens.
William Adams, 51, issued a three-page statement Thursday saying his daughter posted the clip to get back at him for telling her he would be reducing the amount of financial support he gives her and taking away her Mercedes. The statement did not include an apology for the beating, but he told Corpus Christi television station KZTV on Wednesday that the video "looks worse than it is," that he had already apologized to his daughter and that he was just disciplining his child for stealing.
Hillary Adams says her parents were angry because she had downloaded pirated content online, and that she turned on the camera because she sensed something was going to happen.
William Adams, who presides over child abuse cases, is still being investigated by the state's judicial conduct commission and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, which on Thursday requested that he be removed from its cases until the investigation concludes.
Patrick Crimmins, a spokesman for the agency, declined to elaborate on the exact nature of the investigation. But he said that in general, the agency would only investigate a case in which a suspected abuse victim has already reached adulthood if there are still children in the home who could be at risk. Adams was granted joint custody of his 10-year-old daughter in his 2007 divorce.
There are no allegations of alleged abuse by Adams against his younger daughter, who primarily resides with her mother, Hallie Adams. Crimmins declined to say whether his agency is investigating the parental fitness of Hallie Adams, who lashed Hillary once during the 2004 beating.
Jayroe said that police did not interview the younger daughter, but asked both Hallie and Hillary Adams about it and there was no indication of abuse of the younger daughter.
In his statement Thursday, Adams said he would "respond" to all investigations. As Aransas County's top judge, he has dealt with at least 349 family law cases in the past year alone, nearly 50 of which involved state caseworkers seeking determine whether parents were fit to raise their children.
County officials confirmed that Adams will not hear cases related to Child Protective Services for at least the next two weeks. And the top administrator in Aransas County cast doubt on whether Adams could credibly return to the bench.
"I would think it would be very difficult," said Aransas County Judge C.H. "Burt" Mills Jr. "Personally I don't see how he can recover from this."
If the judicial commission and police investigations don't lead to punishment or charges, Adams could be safe on the bench until he's up for re-election in three years.
Hillary Adams said she waited so long to expose her father because she was terrified at what might have happened had she done so while still living under his roof. She said the outpouring of support and encouragement she's received since posting the clip is tempered by the sadness that it's her father repeatedly lashing her with a belt and threatening to beat her "into submission."
During an interview with her mother Thursday on NBC's "Today" show, Hillary Adams said her father regularly beat her for a period of time. has repeatedly said she didn't post the clip to spite her father, and that she hopes it forces him to seek help.
Her mother blamed her ex-husband's bouts of violence on an "addition." She called it a "family secret," but declined to elaborate.
In his statement, though, William Adams painted a starkly different picture of why his daughter posted the clip.
"Just prior to the YouTube upload, a concerned father shared with his 23-year-old daughter that he was unwilling to continue to work hard and be her primary source of financial support, if she was going to simply `drop out,' and strive to achieve no more in life than to work part time at a video game store," Adams' statement said. "Hillary warned her father if he reduced her financial support, and took away her Mercedes automobile, which her father had provided, he would live to regret it."
Hillary Adams did not immediately respond to email requests Thursday seeking a response
Scroll down for full video of beating
Sickening: Texas family law Judge William Adams brutally whips his disabled daughter in footage caught on a webcam set up by the girl in 2004 when she was 16
A disabled woman has taken revenge on her father - a family law judge - by posting on YouTube a secretly filmed video of him beating her with a leather belt.
The shocking film shows Court-at-Law Judge William Adams from Aransas County, Texas, repeatedly striking Hillary as she whimpers in agony.
Taken in 2004 when the girl was 16, the footage has swept the Internet after she decided last week to make it public by uploading it on YouTube and it was then posted on Reddit.
This afternoon Judge Adams responded to the video, saying: 'It happened years ago.. I apologized. It's not as bad as it looks on tape.'
As a result of the furore, the video was being examined by the District Attorney and previous controversial judgements Judge Adams made in cases involving children have come to light.
Attack: The girl, who suffers from cerebral palsy, yelps in pain as her father beats her repeatedly with the leather belt for playing on her computer
All apologies: Judge Adams (pictured left on the webcam and right, in his official court portrait) has said sorry but the attack 'was not as bad as it looks'
The young woman, who suffers from cerebral palsy, was attacked because she was caught downloading music to the computer in her bedroom.
After delivering around ten powerful strikes across her legs and backside, his wife then grabs the belt from him to take over, at which point he walks out only to return moments later with another belt so he can continue the beating.
The shocking footage appears to have been filmed on a webcam set up in the bedroom and dates from 2004 but only became public last week on October 27.
It gained speed yesterday with the video trending on Twitter and being viewed 600,000 times on YouTube. A Facebook page entitled Don't Re-Elect Judge William Adams was set up yesterday and already has 6,000 followers.
Miss Adams, speaking to a local TV network by phone, said she is safe, and decided now was the time because she was tired of being harassed by her father.
She said: '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.
Gathering speed: A Facebook page Don't Re-Elect Judge William Adams was set up yesterday
'It had happened before, and had been escalating,' Adams said. 'I set up a camera, and I caught it.'
The 23-year-old added that she decided to post the footage - which she'd been 'holding onto until the right time' - after receiving 'a barrage of harassment' in a phone call from her father.
From her Twitter account, she tweeted: 'Please spread the word that my father needs professional help and not hatred. We can offer him the tools to be a better person.
'It is my wish that people stop threatening my father and start offering professional help. That is what he really needs.'
On the seven-minute long clip, the girl begs him to stop he can be heard snarling: 'Bend over the f***ing bed.
'Lay down or I'll spank you in the F***ing face.'
Calls to Judge Adams' office in Texas went unanswered. However his senior colleague County Judge C.H. 'Burts' Mills told MailOnline that Judge Adams was not currently at work and had not presided over any trials this week.
Judge Mills said he had seen the video footage and had 'no comment' to make on the film but that it had been turned over to the District Attorney and was being 'reviewed'.
The police department confirmed it would be making an announcement shortly.
In a court judgement last October, Judge Adams said that a child's statements 'amounted to no evidence' despite the fact his words had been confirmed by third party witnesses and recorded on video several times. The young person had also been interviewed by a child psychologist who believed the child.
According to Judge William Adams, all children are 'fantasizers' and their testimony should just be ignored.
The girl in the video is said to have suffered from ataxic cerebral palsy from birth. The condition causes problems including difficulty with balance, shaky movements of hands or feet, and difficulty with speech.
The victim, who has a passion for technology, is believed to have illegally downloaded the video game as well as music.
Threats: The man jabs his finger at the girl while screaming foul abuse as she cowers in fear
Ganging up: The father and mother stand over the girl both brandishing belts. She is believed to have split from him after suffering years of emotional abuse
Take that: The furious father unleashes a powerful backhander as the sickening attack continues
The title reads: 'Family law judge beats own daughter for using the internet, please spread'.
The video has incited fury on twitter with dozens posting their disgust.
@Johnny_Ads wrote: oh my god. what a disgusting video. im shocked. poor girl - what repulsive parents. Shame on them.
And @eschaton added: I hope this exposure gets him sent to prison for a good, long time.
In total the girl receives 20 hard lashes from her father and one from her mother.
She screams: 'You turn over like a 16-year-old and take it like a grown woman.'
As she lies crying on her bed he shouts: 'Do you want to put some more computer games on? Are you happy disobeying your parents?
'You don't deserve to be in this f***ing house. What happened to you Hillary?'
'If I hear so much as you raising your f***ing voice to me or your mother with the wrong tone or do one little thing or you look at me f***ing wrong, I'm going to wear your f***ing a** out with this belt.'
Although it has not been confirmed that the man shown is Judge Adams, several people have posted comments below the video claiming it is definitely him.
One post from a J. Andre Bardin, who claims to be one of Hillary's friends, reads: 'I know in the article you say you cannot confirm the man in the video is him, but I can. It's him.
'That's his voice, that's his mannerisms, and that is his house.'
The woman, thought to be judge Adam's wife, who is seen in the video delivering a single blow to her daughter, is said to have left the marriage after suffering emotional abuse.
She has apparently apologised for taking part in the beating and allowing it to happen.