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Texas Judge Who Beat His Daughter Is Reinstated To Bench

Posted: November 8, 2012

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The 16-year-old secretly videotaped her 2004 beating. When she posted it on YouTube last year, there was outrage. Her father, Aransas County Judge William Adams was suspended. But too much time has passed to bring criminal charges.

Hillary Adams (left) as her father was striking her with a belt. She set up a video camera to record what she says was one of many such beatings.

Hillary Adams (left) as her father was striking her with a belt. She set up a video camera to record what she says was one of many such beatings.

There was outrage across the nation last November when video of a 2004 beating that a local judge in Texas gave to his 16-year-old daughter went viral.

Within days, Aransas County Court-at-Law Judge William Adams was suspended by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct.

This week, he was reinstated to the bench, the Houston Chronicle reports. The beating occurred too long ago to bring a criminal case against Adams, so that limited the steps the commission could take. But, according to CBS News:

"In its one-page order Tuesday, the Texas Supreme Court approved an agreement between Adams and the commission lifting the suspension. As part of the arrangement, Adams waived his right to appeal [a Sept. 6] warning, which is essentially a public reprimand with no other consequences. ... Also, Adams may no longer preside over the physical domestic abuse cases that previously comprised much of his court docket."

He's up for re-election in 2014.

Adams previously defended his actions, saying he had been "disciplining" Hillary Adams.

Hillary and her mother (now divorced from Judge Adams) said the beatings happened regularly. And Hillary, who has cerebral palsy, said that while she waited until she was an adult to release the videotape she took that step to protect her younger sister and to inform Texas voters about her father's actions.

As we've previously written:

"The video ... will be difficult for many to watch. William Adams, angry about his then-teenage daughter's downloading of files from the Internet, uses a belt to beat her legs and backside. He shouts and swears. Hillary screams and cries. So we caution those who might not want to see it to think first before clicking on this link."

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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