Supervised visits for judge taped beating daughter

AP News
Posted: Nov 23, 2011 8:18 PM
Supervised visits for judge taped beating daughter

A Texas judge who was secretly recorded beating his daughter in a video that has been viewed millions of times online was barred Wednesday from visiting his younger daughter without supervision.

Aransas County Court-at-Law Judge William Adams can see his 10-year-old daughter only when "supervised by a competent adult," according to a temporary order signed by state district Judge Kemper Stephen Williams. The order also bars Adams from "causing bodily injury" or threatening to hurt the child.

His ex-wife, Hallie Adams, had asked the courts to change their joint custody agreement to either end visitation or require supervision.

Adams' older daughter, Hillary Adams, uploaded the 2004 video late last month to YouTube. The video shows William Adams using a belt to repeatedly beat hit his then-16-year-old daughter because she illegally downloaded music.

The video had been viewed more than six million times as of Wednesday evening.

A message left for his attorney Wednesday wasn't immediately returned. Brett Pritchard, the attorney for Adams' ex-wife, declined comment.

As Aransas County's top judge, William Adams dealt with at least 349 family law cases in the past year alone, nearly 50 of which involved state caseworkers seeking to determine whether parents were fit to raise their children.

A visiting judge was recently assigned to handle his caseload. And on Tuesday, the Texas Supreme Court suspended him from the bench with pay pending the outcome of an investigation by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct.

After reviewing the investigation conducted by local police, the Aransas County district attorney earlier this month said too much time had passed to bring charges against William Adams.

The order issued Wednesday also blocks both parents from calling, texting or emailing each other for anything but legitimate reasons regarding their daughter. The two are required to attend a parenting class in the next 30 days.

The state judge didn't include an end date for the new custody terms, but said an independent representative would be assigned to the younger girl for future mediation.

William Adams has said the video "looks worse than it is" and that 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.