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Crime Music The Courts Youtube Your Rights Online

No Charges For Child-Whipping Judge Caught On YouTube 948

Posted by timothy
from the internet-sensation dept.
theodp writes "Federal prosecutors will not charge a Texas judge seen lashing his teenage daughter with a belt on a YouTube video taken seven years ago and posted online last week, closing the door on the possibility of criminal charges in the case. The viral video, uploaded by now 23-year-old Hillary Adams, shows her father, Aransas County Court-at-Law Judge William Adams, whipping her with a belt for downloading music when she was 16 (full video, requires login). 'F*****g computers,' the judge tells his now ex-wife on the video. 'I told you I didn't want one in the god damn house. See all the problems they cause?' Judge Adams issued a statement asserting that his daughter released the tape to retaliate against him for withdrawing his financial support."
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No Charges For Child-Whipping Judge Caught On YouTube

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  • Child? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by nepka (2501324) on Saturday November 05, 2011 @04:43PM (#37960508)
    16 year old isn't a child. It's late teens, almost an adult. That's why the whole video should be considered as violence against adult, not teaching your child (and even then it would go seriously over the top). But fact is, 16 year olds are adult already. Most can act and think that way too. At least I could.
  • by fotbr (855184) on Saturday November 05, 2011 @04:48PM (#37960536) Journal

    and another example of a judge that should be removed from the bench by any means possible -- I don't know if you can recall a judge in texas, or if you have to wait until the next time that clown is up for reelection, or what the process is, but whatever the process, it needs to happen.

  • Re:Child? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 05, 2011 @04:50PM (#37960546)

    interesting. i think though adult or child the guy deserves a beating for treating his daughter that way. beating his daughter to save the rights of people who make money from music? what an asshole.

  • Re:Child? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by El_Muerte_TDS (592157) on Saturday November 05, 2011 @04:50PM (#37960560) Homepage

    16 years is a child. If you don't believe it, then upload a naked picture of a 16 year old. I'm sure they'll charge you for distributing child pornography.

  • Re:Child? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Mitchell314 (1576581) on Saturday November 05, 2011 @04:51PM (#37960562)

    But fact is, 16 year olds are adult already. Most can act and think that way too. At least I could.

    ... not because 16 year olds are wise and advanced mentally/emotionally, but because adults aren't ... . Otherwise our world would have a tiny, tiny, tiny fractions of the problems it has now.

  • by pro151 (2021702) on Saturday November 05, 2011 @04:52PM (#37960568)
    One more example of the corrupt "Good Ol Boy" law enforcement network up and running at full speed. If that video had been of you beating your 16 year old daughter, you would be Bubba's girl friend right now and he would be trading your @$$ for cigarettes.
  • Re:Child? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Saturday November 05, 2011 @04:55PM (#37960606)
    ...and you will probably be charged for soliciting the picture.
  • Federal? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jcr (53032) <jcr@@@mac...com> on Saturday November 05, 2011 @04:57PM (#37960628) Journal

    Child abuse is a state matter, last I heard. Why do federal prosecutors have anything to say about it?

    -jcr

  • Excuses (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Spad (470073) <[slashdot] [at] [spad.co.uk]> on Saturday November 05, 2011 @05:01PM (#37960656) Homepage

    Judge Adams issued a statement asserting that his daughter released the tape to retaliate against him for withdrawing his financial support.

    I'm not quite sure that makes what he did OK...

  • by devleopard (317515) on Saturday November 05, 2011 @05:01PM (#37960662) Homepage

    He's a bad person, to say the least. However, the state's statute of limitations expired, and the federal prosecutors could find no *federal* laws being broken. (Keep in mind which crimes are state, which are federal) To do otherwise would be to violate the legal system, no matter what you feel.

  • Re:Excuses (Score:5, Insightful)

    by phaserbanks (1977290) on Saturday November 05, 2011 @05:05PM (#37960692)

    Umm... call me crazy, but maybe she was retaliating for him repeatedly beating the crap out of her.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 05, 2011 @05:13PM (#37960746)

    Correct, nothing to prosecute.

    But you don't need to be convicted of a crime to lose your job and your social standing. People have lost far more for far less.

  • Re:Sexual arroused (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 05, 2011 @05:19PM (#37960806)

    Sounds like someone is Projecting.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 05, 2011 @05:20PM (#37960812)
    I know it is trendy & hip to not spank your children and I disagree with that -- I do spank my children on occasion and I can usually tell - from the behavior of other kids in their classes - which parents don't. All that being said, the guy in that video isn't spanking his daughter -- he has lost his temper and is just beating her. I mean, who screams "fuck" repeatedly when they are spanking their child? Plus, I think 16 is too old for corporal punishment -- honestly, the die is pretty much cast at that point. I think the fact that she released the tape 7 years later because he wouldn't pay her rent any more shows that she was already ... on a path that was different than what her Father wanted. PS -- Why wouldn't you just take the fucking computer, anyways?
  • Re:So... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Belial6 (794905) on Saturday November 05, 2011 @05:31PM (#37960876)
    His spouse was just as bad as him. She was fully involved with the beating.
  • Re:Child? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tomhudson (43916) <barbara DOT huds ... a-hudson DOT com> on Saturday November 05, 2011 @05:32PM (#37960884) Journal

    More likely he is beating lashing his daughter for violating the law. It is not necessarily a statement on whether the law is just.

    No, he's beating his daughter because he's an idiot with anger management and control issues. If it's not okay to beat a stranger for "violating the law", then it's certainly not okay to beat someone you're supposed to love, and who you have a legal responsibility to protect from bad stuff such as illegal physical assaults like this.

    BTW: This was not a one-time incident.

  • by eldepeche (854916) on Saturday November 05, 2011 @05:35PM (#37960908)

    If she had released it when she was a 16-year-old living at home, I would imagine he would have beaten the shit out of her.

  • Re:Child? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sir_Sri (199544) on Saturday November 05, 2011 @05:37PM (#37960918)

    or refuse schooling, a lawyer etc.

    A 16 your old legally is a child, they are protected by the state (and can be taken away from home if they have abusive parents, whether they want to go or not, for example), and in legal agreements they cannot sign for themselves without special circumstances. They cannot serve in the army, they cannot collect an adult minimum wage, they cannot be treated like adults legally without special circumstances (which violate both the definition and purpose of separate child laws in the first place).

    16 years cannot marry without parental consent, pregnancy - in some specific cases, court approval or the like (unless they are already emancipated).

    A 14 year old is not *automatically* tried for murder as an adult, they can, under special circumstances be given that privilege.

    You see these things on the news and it biases your perception of what actually happens. In extreme cases children can be emancipated from their parents at very young ages when the parents have no criminal record etc... But in that sense any piece of law can be overturned in a one off basis, for the 99.99% of everyone else 16 year olds are children, are treated that way by several laws, and treaties, and treating them differently is illegal.

  • Re:Only till 25? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cheekyjohnson (1873388) on Saturday November 05, 2011 @05:38PM (#37960922)

    You'll understand why all of your arguments are completely incorrect when you're older.

  • Re:Only till 25? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nepka (2501324) on Saturday November 05, 2011 @05:38PM (#37960926)
    To be honest, I felt like I was much more intelligent when I was 16-17 years old. I spent my days learning and coding. Now that I am 23, I look back to my past year and it's full of partying, booze, traveling around the world and having sex with random chicks from all around the world. Not that intelligently spent time as I did when I was 16-17 years old. Of course I know a lot more about things, but that doesn't come from sudden increase in my intelligence, it just comes from my experiences. If anything, I feel like I'm only dumber now.
  • Re:Child? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eldepeche (854916) on Saturday November 05, 2011 @05:39PM (#37960934)

    Even more likely he is beating his daughter because it makes him feel like a big man on a power trip. She knew what she was doing would elicit a severe beating, so if she wanted footage of him abusing her, all she had to do was download some songs from the internet.

    Child abuse and domestic abuse aren't about punishment, they are about control. She could probably have changed the desktop background or something equally trivial. He's not punishing her for misdeeds, he's beating her into submission. He even says so in the video.

  • Re:hard to watch (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 05, 2011 @05:47PM (#37961006)

    in what world should anyone have to support a grown woman who refuses to take care of herself?

    You've never been married, have you?

    Or worse, divorced.

  • Re:Excuses (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jd (1658) <{moc.oohay} {ta} {kapimi}> on Saturday November 05, 2011 @05:56PM (#37961090) Homepage Journal

    If she has become a monster, then it is of his design and his handiwork. It may not excuse her for her attitudes, if indeed these allegations are true, but his responsibility does not end with him, it encompasses ALL that he has done. If he has indeed broken her mind, then he is no less responsible than her for the video being posted.

  • by Pitr (33016) on Saturday November 05, 2011 @06:05PM (#37961192)

    She was a minor at the time, so it's on his dime.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 05, 2011 @06:06PM (#37961202)

    My parents took the belt to my hind end a few times as a kid and I turned out OK.

    Uh, no. You grew up to be an advocate of beating children. That you think that represents "turning out OK" shows how far from OK you are.

  • by Bitsy Boffin (110334) on Saturday November 05, 2011 @06:07PM (#37961206) Homepage

    We thought the world was flat once.

    Sometimes people realise the ideas they have are wrong and they change them, beating children is one of those things that much of the world has decided was wrong.

  • Re:hard to watch (Score:2, Insightful)

    by artor3 (1344997) on Saturday November 05, 2011 @06:09PM (#37961232)

    So she should be allowed to blackmail him for the rest of his life?

    If she wanted justice, she could have released the video years ago, and he would be in prison right now. Instead she decided she'd rather have cash and a nice car. What the judge did was wrong. Between the two of them, he's definitely worse, and he will be punished by society even if he isn't by the legal system. But she's no saint either. People all too often fall into the trap of thinking that there must be exactly two sides to every issue: the good guys and the bad guys. Real life isn't so tidy.

  • Cerebal palsy is a disability in Texas that meets the criteria.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 05, 2011 @06:42PM (#37961502)

    Gotta agree with the AC - I've been beat before, and while it looked like this man was putting his heart into it, he looked like an out of shape skinny punk compared to the whippings I got as a child. When a beating was finished in my household, the crying didn't stop for 30 minutes, and you'd be lucky if you weren't limping afterwards. If the video had shown her inconsolable for 20 minutes after the beating, hardly able to move because of the pain, I'd be more inclined to feel some sympathy for her. As it was, she had a dick father, and a dick mother, but as soon as they got out of the room, she was cool as a cucumber, walking around like the beating was nothing to her.

    Now be clear, even if you're a wimp with a belt and can't give a 16 year old enough of a smack down to keep them crying for 30 minutes, you shouldn't be beating your kid - it's stupid and unproductive. But this was definitely "gotcha" videography on the part of the kid. The whole family is rotten, and frankly, I'm most appalled by the mother - the fact that she was cool with it as an observer (although I think she got one lick in too) was chilling.

    Seems like you're primed and ready to be a child abuser yourself.

    Your attitude needs a lot of work. I'd recommend a psychological evaluation, stat. Or just show this post to your woman and let her decide.

  • Re:He... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by somersault (912633) on Saturday November 05, 2011 @06:55PM (#37961600) Homepage Journal

    After having watched the video, it's very hard not to agree with you though. I don't understand how whipping his daughter is teaching her a lesson about downloading. Beating the fuck out of him might help though, seeing as fear and control seem to be the only thing he understands.

  • Re:Child? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mrxak (727974) on Saturday November 05, 2011 @07:02PM (#37961654)

    I'm sure a man who doesn't understand computers or technology (at least, 7 years ago, that might have changed) is absolutely quaking in his boots over threats from an internet group.

    What exactly are they going to do, find and release a video of him beating his daughter to get him thrown off the bench?

  • Mod up (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ridgecritter (934252) on Saturday November 05, 2011 @07:30PM (#37961846)

    Wish I had mod points. Times change, things get better. What our parents accepted as the way of the world wasn't ok with us. What we think of as part of the landscape is not good enough for our kids. This is progress.

  • Re:Excuses (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lanner (107308) on Saturday November 05, 2011 @07:41PM (#37961910)

    Abuse survivor here. I'm in my mid 30s now, male. I've not seen or heard from my parents/step-parents since I was fifteen years old. One of the best things I ever did in life.

    Blackmail was not involved here, as far as I can tell. I never read anything about that. She never threatened to release the video; she just did it. I would bet sacks full of money that she never let anyone else know about that video, out of fear of being abused further. It doesn't even make sense that she would try to use it as a control mechanism against him. Even if she did,.... uh... good for her.

    Note in the articles how the farther took back a car, thus depriving her of the ability to get around. It was never a gift to her. It was a tool to use as control, and when he wanted to control her further, he yanked the chain. This is a twenty year old we are talking about here, not a child. Even in adulthood, he treats his daughter as something that needs to be controlled.

    This guy will lose friends, respect, his job, and his entire career. I'd say that's pretty fair. I don't have any sympathy for him and very little for the mother.

    As for the feds, they should not be involved in any way, no duh.

    As for charges, unfortunately, she sat on this too long. Fear can really paralyze and control you. Again, no duh.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 05, 2011 @07:45PM (#37961948)

    I think the behaviour you notice, is that of a beaten dog. It is so nice that you find using strength and force an acceptable method of disciplining family.

    Don't be surprised when the aluminum baseball bat begin swinging your way in a few years.

    Your kids no longer respect you and will use you. If you examine, you know this to be true

  • by whoop (194) on Saturday November 05, 2011 @07:49PM (#37961974) Homepage

    I found the most interesting quote from the video wasn't his cursing, but the mom's statement, "Take it like a grown woman." That underscores their life in that house. I'm sure this happened to everyone in the house several times throughout the years.

  • Re:Child? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rockout (1039072) on Saturday November 05, 2011 @07:53PM (#37961982)

    I was spanked with a razor belt more times than I care to count when I was growing up. Not radically different than this. You can bet I didn't do whatever caused the whipping again.

    Oh, that makes it okay then. Fuck you, asshole.

  • Re:Child? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by omfgnosis (963606) on Saturday November 05, 2011 @08:33PM (#37962244)

    and he isn't declared innocent either if he isn't charged.

    Actually, he is. That's what "innocent until proven guilty" means, and that is the legal status of any person in the US who has not been tried and convicted.

    You need to bring him to court to determine guilty or not.

    Which is not the same as "innocent". It is "guilty" or "not guilty".

    Note: I am not saying that this person is innocent, in a moral sense; he clearly is not. I'm only speaking to the legal structure.

  • Re:Child? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by angel'o'sphere (80593) on Saturday November 05, 2011 @08:50PM (#37962336) Homepage Journal

    That is not a matter of "age" but of education or age based education.
    History is full of 14 year olds becoming King or war lord or any other high abstract thinker with organization tallent or great leader ship.
    In our society growing ups are treated like puppies, most of the time hold down so they don't develop. And only martyred with grades in stuff completely unrelated to what is really interesting. How do you learn enough physics in "school" or "high school" to get interested in studying it?
    Do you know who Niels Bohr is? Smart young people are the norm, not the exception. Also "adult" young people are the norm. The fact that we don't have/see this right now is a side effect of our society and not a genetic thing of aging or growing up. Most young people I meet are bored ... bored ... bored about what school and life demands from them ... many of them live in their own worlds. Just doing musics, parties and sports and the bare minimum to pass classes in school. The teacher asks: what do you think about "X" and they tell him everything he missed the last 20 years about X ...
    Sorry, I don't know what you want to see in your brain scans ... but I can bet that a big deal of the brains you scan (from young people) are just not yet malformed like the main adult brains are.

  • Re:Child? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Trogre (513942) on Saturday November 05, 2011 @08:56PM (#37962384) Homepage

    Fuck you, asshole

    Looks like someone needed a bit more discipline when growing up.

  • by log0n (18224) on Saturday November 05, 2011 @09:19PM (#37962496)

    If you're spanking your kids all it means is that you have failed in your role as a parent. Spanking means that you have nothing else, no other ideas. There's nothing hip & trendy or touchy-feely about it.

    re: behavior of other kids in the class.. I'll agree, there's a lot of extremely poor parenting out there. But smacking your kid to teach respect/authority is no better than having no discipline/consequences in order to be friends with your kid. In either case the parent took on the role of an abuser.

    Seeing as you've posted AC, I think on some level you know this. Don't make up BS about you not wanting your real ID to be associated with you spanking your kid.

  • by Anubis IV (1279820) on Saturday November 05, 2011 @09:22PM (#37962516)

    Completely agree. To repeat something I said elsewhere, I support corporal punishment, but not when it's anything that even remotely resembles what that video shows. I've talked to my parents about some of this over the years as questions about how I'll one day raise my own children have come up, and some of the things that I most remember about my punishments as a child were things that I later learned were entirely deliberate and intentional on their part.

    My parents did spank me as a child, but they made a point of never once doing it while angry, never once using it as a first resort, never once doing it before they had clearly explained to me what I had done wrong and making sure I understood (and they always gave me 10-30 minutes to think about it before discussing it with me), never once trivializing it by slapping or swatting me, and never once doing it without telling me that they loved me (and making that clear to me through the tears in their eyes). Aside from the obvious (at least to me) fact that they were acting out of love, the fact that I could always count on them to be reasonable is what made those spankings effective. There were a few times where my parents had me sit in a room in anticipation of being spanked, only to let me leave for one reason or another (e.g. it became evident that I was acting with a different motivation than they had ascribed to me, such as entering an off-limits area, not to misbehave, but rather to pull a wayward sibling out of harm's way).

    Any punishments of this sort need to be given out of true love and concern for the wellbeing of the child. Anything else is inexcusable and won't be effective since the child will recognize it for being what it is: unloving, unfair, inconsistent, or unreasonable. I was fortunate to have two loving parents who understood that. Not everyone is that fortunate.

  • by budgenator (254554) on Saturday November 05, 2011 @10:56PM (#37962900) Journal

    Well considering that she knew she was going to be beaten by her father's demeanor, that she set up the video camera to capture the event for posterity, I have a hunch the Judge sent the "message of last resort" rather frequently.

  • Re:Child? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Saturday November 05, 2011 @11:49PM (#37963094) Homepage Journal

    There are a couple questions to ask about the "spankings".

    1. Did you actually do something wrong - or were the "spankings" random, unpredictable, and/or unwarranted?

    2. Did you get belted all over your body, like the girl in the video?

    3. Was there a preset number of swats, or did your parent just whip until his arms got tired?

    4. Was there a definite lesson to be imparted?

    5. Did you actually LEARN a lesson, or did you just "learn" to avoid Dad, or to hide your actions better?

    As for minding our own damned business - that shit can go to far. I seem to remember some women being killed in New York City, screaming, crying, and begging for help - and no passerby would lift a finger, or make a telephone call. I also seem to remember, more recently, a toddler being killed in traffic in China, and no one would come to her aid. Almost every month, we read of some child dying in America due to abuse and neglect. I'm one to "mind my own business" most of the time - but there comes a time when you HAVE to take notice!

  • Re:Child? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 06, 2011 @12:10AM (#37963172)

    I had some friends who went so far as to kidnap their daughter and send her to a stepford child religious school. Too far? Perhaps- but if they hadn't, the girl would probably be dead or a drug using low class hooker now

    Yeah, but the kid wouldn't have turned out that way in the first place if her parents weren't the kinds of psychos who would kidnap and brainwash their child. Duh!

  • Re:Child? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lord Kano (13027) on Sunday November 06, 2011 @12:36AM (#37963254) Homepage Journal

    I believe in spanking, under the right circumstances. What this man did was not spanking, it was beating. It's not cool.

    LK

  • Re:Child? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by syousef (465911) on Sunday November 06, 2011 @04:52AM (#37963988) Journal

    I was spanked with a razor belt more times than I care to count when I was growing up...

    You are a clear example of why this form of discipline should not be used. You're incapable of thinking for yourself, as evidenced by the logical fallacy you opened with. Or rather fallacies.

    1. Let's start with the fact that you don't agree that you were harmed does not mean you were not indeed harmed - you clearly have no sympathy/empathy for others who are similarly abused. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychologist's_fallacy [wikipedia.org]

    2. If I were to accept that you were not harmed, why would I accept that others with different motivations, beliefs, personalities would not be harmed? A sample size of one is not sufficient. Perhaps you turned out fine but your neighbour would become a serial killer or a broken wreck of a person given this form of discpiline. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post_hoc_ergo_propter_hoc [wikipedia.org] and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hasty_generalization [wikipedia.org]

    I don't doubt others apply and that is just your opening sentence. I don't have time or inclination to pick apart more. See the complete list here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies [wikipedia.org]

    May I ask the following question? If it is okay in your mind for a parent to beat his or her children to make sure they do not behave antisocially, why not a boss beating his or her workers, or a teacher, provided that they mean well? What exactly makes it okay to discipline a child one way but not an adult? Surely you don't think they are lesser creatures? So what possible sane argument can you make here? I'm curious.

    If you think it's okay for you or others to beat people to get them "in line" with your way of thinking, you have in fact been harmed by your upbringing. Violence often escalates. Children learn by example. Get help - certainly before having children and infecting the next generation. You are using your abuse to justify more abuse.

    That's less succinct than "Fuck you, asshole" the other poster presented, but much more thorough. Consider that I'm not being abusive and actually think about what I am saying.

  • Re:Child? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ultranova (717540) on Sunday November 06, 2011 @03:54PM (#37967540)

    I was spanked with a razor belt more times than I care to count when I was growing up.

    So it wasn't very effective then. Except, of course, for teaching you to consider domestic violence acceptable and instilling a rather disturbing level of authoritarianism, which you demonstrate here by instantly siding with the authority figure, even when he's clearly abusing his power. And so the cycle continues.

    Looks to me like a father who probably lost his temper and a young woman playing to the internet 'jury' for sympathy and revenge.

    Are you implying that an adult man who "lost his temper" and beat up a helpless girl in rage should be pitied, because his victim made the disgusting crime public?

    Granted, he's scaring the hell out of his daughter in the video (probably with good reason), but unless there was evidence of such abuse then I think people should mind their own damn business.

    There is evidence of abuse, specifically the video in question which depicts it. This abuse is everyone's business, because violent crime doesn't become any less of a violent crime just because it happens inside four walls and the victims are in a particularly vulnerable position in respect to the criminal. And in this particular case the criminal happens to be a judge; if he can't control his violent impulses with his own family, why would we expect him to do so in in official capacity either?

  • Re:Child? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by syousef (465911) on Sunday November 06, 2011 @03:58PM (#37967578) Journal

    My parents would beat the shit out of me if I ever stepped out of line and I still didn't turn into a sociopath. There are probably some emotional scars there but I managed to move past all that. I actually have a very good relationship with both of my parents now.

    You admit your parents abused you and not only do you condone it, you seem to idolise them. I feel sorry for your kids.

    Not everyone's going to handle that kind of abuse the same way. Some will turn into sociopaths, some will commit suicide.

    My older sister, on the other hand, came to school with some marks on her body and Social Services came to the house and she didn't live with us anymore after that. The father sounds like an asshole but it isn't child abuse unless it leaves a mark.

    Sounds like your sister got the protection and you got screwed. You shouldn't grow up thinking that's normal.

    Everyone needs to stop pushing their values on other people and telling them how to raise their kids.

    No. You live as part of a society and what you do affects others. You need to stop insisting that anti-social child-raring that raises monsters is okay because some people don't end up monsters. Should I be permitted to raise my child to beat, murder and rob people if that is my belief? No. Your position is untenable.

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