Police: Judge won’t be charged over video beating - USATODAY.com
A Texas family law judge whose daughter secretly videotaped him savagely beating her seven years ago won’t face criminal charges because too much time has elapsed, police said Thursday.
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.
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.