Aransas County Court-at-Law Judge William Adams is under investigation after a video recently published online shows him allegedly beating his daughter.
The video shows Adams striking his teenage daughter on the arms, back and backside with a belt while using profanity in a graphic, seven-minute ordeal.
"Yeah, absolutely it's me," Adams told KRIS-TV's Andy Liscano. "I lost my temper. I spanked her. Her mother was there. She wasn't hurt. It was a long time ago. I apologized to her. I really don't want to get into this right now, because, as you can see, my life has been made very difficult over this." (See the judge's video statement on our Facebook page.)
Hillary Adams, the judge's daughter, told The Associated Press she feels some regret for posting the video but hopes it forces him to get help.
A message posted with the clip said the girl has ataxic cerebral palsy and that the beating took place in 2004 after she used the Internet to illegally download music and games. Hillary Adams told the AP that she set up the camera because she "knew something was about to happen."
She told KRIS-TV's reporter that she published the video after seven years because her father's abuse "was getting really bad."
William Adams told the television station that his daughter published the video because she was mad he had ordered her to return a car.
Adams contends that while he did lose his temper, he hasn't done anything wrong.
"In my mind I haven't done anything wrong, other than discipline my child after she was caught stealing. And, I did lose my temper but I've since apologized. It looks worse than it is. There is a story; it'll come out in due time," Adams said.
Rockport police Chief Tim Jayroe said Wednesday that calls from people who saw the video prompted an investigation. The calls also led to Aransas County Judge Burt Mills to publish the following statement on the county's website Wednesday morning:
"Judge Burt Mills has today announced that Aransas County is aware of the video posted on YouTube regarding County Court-at-Law Judge William Adams, and the matter is now under review by the Police Department. Please refrain from communication with County offices or the Sheriff's Department on this matter until the review has been completed. Calls, emails, and faxes only create disruptions for other ongoing county business. The public's cooperation would be most appreciated."
Jayroe said officials have not confirmed the identities of the people in the video, nor have they confirmed whether any crimes were committed.
The former is now a moot point since the judge and his daughter have confirmed they are in the video. Regarding the latter, Jayroe told the Corpus Christie Caller that if it's determined a crime occurred, then investigators would then have to determine whether the statute of limitations applies.
For child abuse cases in Texas, the statute runs 10 years past the victim's 18th birthday.
Hillary Adams is 23.
Warning: Disturbing video with graphic language and violence: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wl9y3SIPt7o