November 3rd, 2011
03:45 PM ET

Tonight on AC360: Texas judge's daughter and wife talk about beating caught on video

Editor's note: Tune in to AC360° tonight at 8 p.m. ET for Anderson's interview with Hillary and Hallie Adams.

Dallas (CNN) - A woman who launched a firestorm by posting a 2004 video of her father, a Texas judge, beating her on the Internet said Thursday that violence was a regular occurrence in her family home.

"It did happen regularly, for a period of time, and I could tell, because of the pattern, that things were escalating again," Hillary Adams, now 23, said on NBC's "Today." She said she left her video camera on her dresser recording and covered its light with a scarf in order to capture the video.

Her father, Aransas County, Texas, Court-At-Law Judge William Adams, faces a police investigation and a judicial probe after the graphic video surfaced of him striking his then-16-year-old daughter repeatedly while cursing at her and berating her.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Crime & Punishment
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. AL

    it was pirated online content that she supposedly stole. How many kids and adults have done that? It could have been handled a lot better. I think he should get lashed!

    November 6, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
  2. Cindy Jones

    I am dumbfounded that we have to decide if this type of punishment crosses the line. Look at the video. The father says it wasn't as bad as it looks!!! Hmmm.... It is a video and it was probably much worse! Who cares what prompted the release of the video, this child was beaten and I only wish she would have taken it to authorities years ago. No child deserves this. I would love to hear more from Hillary. I know she has a story to tell. I feel really sorry for her.

    November 6, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
  3. MMead

    We often hear from those who fight to uphold this practice for those under the age of 18 (even to the blaming of the social maladies of the day on a supposed "lack" of it), but we rarely, if ever, find advocates for the return of corporal punishment to the general adult community, college campuses, inmate population, or military. Why is that?

    Ask ten unyielding proponents of child/adolescent/teenage-only "spanking" about the "right" way to do it, and what would be abusive, indecent, or obscene, and you will get ten different answers.

    These proponents should consider making their own video-recording of the "right way" to do it.

    Visit Unlimited Justice or Parents and Teachers Against Violence in Education to learn more and add your voice.

    November 5, 2011 at 10:46 am |
  4. Allen

    As a man and a father I would have found it very difficult to bring myself to assault a young lady like that unless she assailed me or her mother first. That punishment that was dealt to that young lady was not even proportional to the crime she commited. That was not justice or justifiable. I wonder if the judge's court rulings are just as unfair and heavy-handed.

    November 4, 2011 at 1:13 am |
  5. James

    There's a difference between disciplining a child and beating a child. Telling your kid to go to their room and taking away their stuff is disciplining. Beating them with a belt repeatedly is beating your kid.

    November 3, 2011 at 8:56 pm |
  6. jane

    The Judge beating his daughter was brutality that bordered on incest. He was demanding that his teenage daughter "bend over the bed" and submitt to his frenzied attack. There was humiliation and degrading domination taking place that the father was clearly enjoying. He was using this girl's teenage mistake as a reason to physically dominate and mentally molest her. This man was not a man who gave a child a dignified "spanking" that he found distasteful. This man was having an orgiastic session that looked to be giving him a sexual high. I would not be suprised, if upon further investigation of this man, some very unsavory things were discovered about this guys predilections.

    November 3, 2011 at 8:51 pm |
  7. Louann Petrucci

    This is unmitigated CHILD ABUSE, evidently inflicted for years, with impunity. The reporting is revealing a malicious, manipulative control-freak cloaked literally in the robes of the judicial system. Sadly, this behavior by judges and law enforcement is more common than the public realizes. As a retired lawyer, I have seen first-hand the same–or similar–conduct, oft carried out with impunity. Judicial conduct boards do not enjoy a good track record of "policing" their own ranks. Adams has typically blamed the victim; very sociopathic conduct. Good reporting (again) by Anderson.

    November 3, 2011 at 8:40 pm |
  8. emma

    I'm not condoning the father's conduct (if true). But, who took the video and why?

    November 3, 2011 at 8:38 pm |
    • Laura

      The daughter did, Hillary, because it had happened before where her parents had physically abused her.

      November 6, 2011 at 10:47 pm |
  9. Marcus

    Again this is another example of where americans have different opinions. The daughter did something wrong so her father chose to discipline her. There was a discussion in another portion of the home prior to the discipline. This was not a beating, although i am a nightly watcher of this show i strongly disagree with those on the show telling a parent how to discipline their child.

    November 3, 2011 at 8:26 pm |
    • Juanita

      I completely agree with what you wrote. She made herself seem like a victim because she was the only one aware that the incident was being recorded. Had he of known that he was being video taped, his reaction would have been different as well. This is part of the problem with our society, we keep prosecuting parents for being parents and teaching kids that if their parents hit them to call the law. He may have a temper but she made it through and so did her mother. If he was so bad, why didn't mom try to get away from him with her daughter? Why did she wait 7 years to release this video and why are we feeling sorry for a now women that seems to want to get back at her father for things that happen years ago. I think that they all need help and the media needs to stop labeling whooping ones child as 'beating'. Not everyone can put their child in 'time out' and that be the end of the bad behavior. Now this man is going to loose his career all because his daughter wants to prove a point. Keep this in mind, what comes around, goes around and one day she will have children and may have to lay in the same bed she just put her dad in!

      November 3, 2011 at 9:04 pm |
      • Kelly

        Really? He was "just being a parent"? As a parent myself, I could never CONDONE anyone for treating their child that way. He clearly was hitting his child out of anger. That was physical abuse. And it doesn't matter what her reason for releasing it was....No one should EVER be allowed to treat another person that way & certainly not your own child.

        I hate it that Juanita and Marcus would be willing to whip a child in the name of "discipline." I'm with faberm, put him in prison and let him "take it like a man" when the prisoners have their way. Like you said, what goes around comes around.

        November 5, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
    • Marie

      What's disturbing more than anything,is that you cannot see this as abuse!!! This is not a parent teaching his child right from wrong. This is a monster!!! Any parent who could inflict this type of pain on their child, who by the way is disabled is a very sick and dangerous animal. This man should never be allowed to stand as a judge and should be disbarred, never to be near his children ever again!

      November 4, 2011 at 9:03 pm |
  10. Amanda

    The judge says he was "disciplining" his daughter and sees nothing wrong with it. His turning the light out first? Consciousness of guilt!!! This man has NO business on the bench and certainly NOT in a family court!!!

    November 3, 2011 at 8:25 pm |
  11. Maxine

    I am not condoning what this Judge did, But I think there is some sinister reason why this young lady uploaded this video. One the same account she uploaded the video , She has been promoting herself as an accomplished pianist . And to think that her mom took part in to this whole affair sat beside her in the interview and behave like she did not take part in the beating.

    November 3, 2011 at 8:20 pm |
  12. Fred

    Spoiled Brat Period, has everything & a Mercedes! Pathetic. This crap shouldn't be aired. At least she didn't end up in jail for stealing and ruining her life forever in Texas. Texas has very serious laws.

    November 3, 2011 at 8:19 pm |
  13. Sean

    Even if the daughter is not special needs and even if she released the video after a disagreement with her father–which I don't believe–nothing, absolutely nothing, can justify the physical, emotional, and psychological abuse that we witnessed on that tape and to which Judge Adams has admitted.

    November 3, 2011 at 8:18 pm |
    • Laura

      THANK YOU. Finally, someone sees through all the sideline excuses.

      November 6, 2011 at 10:54 pm |
  14. mondi

    This is a great example of double personality. this judge needs medication.

    November 3, 2011 at 8:15 pm |
  15. Jay m

    Really this story is news. With all the miracles, amazing stories of people getting healed and life changes experiences, you have to spend valuable time covering this story. ridiculous list this show sucks. No wonder my grandparents and uncles say there is nothing on tv. Yes really.

    November 3, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
  16. Londa

    A army with cameras waits for the next violet parent. This idea will not go away!

    November 3, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
  17. Toby

    It was psychological displacement or sadism but I'm betting on psychological displacement. The cocky Judge has a bad day, gets insulted in public, gets some back lip from a lowly cashier, and someone puts a long scratch on his car door and paints the sentence "you're an ass-.... above the scratch. He comes home all frustrated and finds an easy target as an outlet(his daughter) for his frustrations.

    You know like the guy who gets bullied by his boss at work and then comes home and beats up his petite wife, only this judge being from Texas probably felt that he was fighting the devil while releasing that frustration, hell he killed two birds with one stone, he released his pent up frustrations and he fought the deeble in his mind.

    November 3, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  18. Berri

    I will not call you judge you do not deserve the title. I just watched a video of you saying the whole story will come out soon and that was not that bad. Well you are a disgrace. You are a coward if it was not that bad. I hope you and your wife are procsecuted to the fullest extent of your daughter law. Your daughter did the right thing by putting that video out there for everyone to see what a piece of work you really are. I grew up being beaten like that I hope that video ruins yoru career.

    November 3, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
  19. marty

    Wow.so sad.

    November 3, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  20. faberm

    They need to put him into prison for 30 days and let the prisoners have their way with him. Bet those boxers won't stay on him for long. They'll just say, "Get on your belly and take this like a man!" He needs it.

    November 3, 2011 at 4:46 pm |