November 3rd, 2011
10:45 PM ET

DA: Statute of limitations prevents charges in judge's beating of daughter

By Tracy Sabo, Ashley Hayes and Moni Basu, CNN

Dallas (CNN) - A district attorney in Texas said Thursday that the statute of limitations prohibits the filing of charges against a judge shown in a 2004 video repeatedly beating his then-teenage daughter.

The daughter, meanwhile, told CNN's Anderson Cooper she uploaded the graphic video as a way to reconcile with Judge William Adams.

"I wanted to show my father, 'Hey, I think you were in some denial about the way you are treating me and my mother.' And maybe showing him this would make him see something he didn't before," Hillary Adams, now 23, told CNN.

William Adams, a court-at-law judge in Aransas County, Texas, faces a judicial conduct probe over the incident.

Aransas County District Attorney Patrick Flanigan sent a letter to Rockport Police Chief Tim Jayroe Thursday evening, informing him of his decision on prosecution.

"It is clear that no criminal misdemeanor information nor any criminal felony indictment may be presented for any criminal charge that may be depicted on the subject video," Flanigan wrote. "Limitations prevent prosecution of any applicable criminal charge shown on said video."

Rockport police said they would contact federal authorities to determine whether any criminal charges may be filed in federal court.


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Filed under: Crime & Punishment
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. michelle

    Also, if parents use proper polite&civilized verbal expressions to their children in life – 'thanks' and 'sorry', they could create room to let their children understood their parents' spanking as well.

    November 5, 2011 at 10:31 am |
  2. michelle

    I saw the science of spanking wanted to leave a comment but couldn't find the video now...so i'm putting it here. Based on my education and experience.., Parents has to keep consistency in spanking tool. I've seen parents who placed one type of spanking tool in a place with respect. All family members and the children recognized the spanking tool was necessary for education and when parents picked up the tool, they let them know why it has to be the spanking time. I saw spanking was more treated as a ritual for education. No raised voice. Bit of differences in individual family in using spanking but consistency is a huge key in any matter of education including spanking as well. Grabbing whatever tool around to spank them when parents are angry is NOT the way of spanking.

    November 5, 2011 at 10:09 am |
  3. Beverly Davisson

    Regarding the judge's beating of his daughter - I spanked my two daughter when they were small, but never a beating with a belt. I think 16 is too old for this type of discipline anyway. What we see here is not discipline. There is thinking that fathers should never beat their daughters as that can lead daughters to believe that it is okay for men to hit women.

    November 5, 2011 at 8:44 am |
  4. Wilma

    There is a differeence between abuse and discipline, Listening to the opinion been given is not realistic, telling parents to reason with children and they will eventually listen...this is the reason why there are so many children that by age 10 are committing crimes because parents are trying to reason with them, while these said children turn around slam doors in the parents face anmd argue with them. When a child attempts to do something and is given a beaten he or she thinks twice next time about doing it. It is time for us to take the roles as parents and to stop this coddling it is not breeding a gentle, respectful and non violent set of kids; just the opposite. Understand, I am for spanking, not abuse. This is the reason why the children are now the adults in the house and teachers have no control in a class. An adult raises his voice, it is called 'mental abuse' you spank them it is called 'physical abuse' and you punish them it is called "emotional abuse". We must define what is abuse and what is discipline or else the world we are living in is doomed with the future generation.

    November 4, 2011 at 11:01 pm |
  5. Wilma

    It should have been asked of Hillary whether she ever thought of doing anything like that. If no, then the lesson was learned.

    November 4, 2011 at 10:46 pm |
  6. Aaron Taylor

    Mr. Cooper,

    RE: Adams

    We have seen enough of the beatings....there must be a point where we can refer to deed without havng to witness(again)...families are watching.

    Aaron in Canada.

    November 4, 2011 at 8:47 pm |
  7. Lawrence Cohen

    Why would Anderson Cooper keep asking Hillary Adams if she released the video in response to her father taking away her car? What possible difference would that make? There are many possible triggers that finally allow a victim of abuse to recognize that they were abused and that they no longer need to protect their abuser. Financial dependence is often a factor in keeping victims silent, and financial independence allows for the truth to be revealed. I admire the courage of Hillary Adams to face the humiliation of the public, and questions about her own integrity, in putting a human face on the barbaric practice of corporal punishment in America.

    November 4, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
    • elizabeth charles

      right on. I agree with everything you said. no matter how long it took this woman to take to come forward no matter her motives. the proof is in the vidoe her fater abused her. and for her to have had the guts to put the camrea in her room it wasn't the first time he abused her.just the first time he got caught and I can't imagine the courage it to to even put the video taping devices in her room let alone finaly let the american public who pays his paycheck know what a hippocrate he is.we should be celebrating this womans stringht in comming forward with absolute proof. that her father doesn't deny . insted of questioning her motives.the father doen't deny this he is justifying it and he has taken an oth to op hold the law. we as americans should be outraged

      November 5, 2011 at 1:40 am |