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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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  • 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.

  • Federal? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jcr (53032) <jcr@nOspAm.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.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...

    • 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.

      • Re:Excuses (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 05, 2011 @05:13PM (#37960750)

        Nope. She's posted about it elsewhere, but basically, she saved the video in order to blackmail him. Fast forward to a week ago, and he threatens to stop allowing her to borrow his Mercedes. So she posts the video in response.

        They're both horrible people: the judge for beating his daughter, and the girl for blackmailing him over it.

        If she wanted him punished, she had the chance. She didn't. She wanted money from him.

        • Re:Excuses (Score:5, Insightful)

          by jd (1658) <imipak@noSPam.yahoo.com> 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.

        • I don't know. I mean, how much faith can you have in the justice system after you've been beaten by a judge in your own home?

        • 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.

          • Re:Excuses (Score:5, Interesting)

            by rahvin112 (446269) on Saturday November 05, 2011 @09:36PM (#37962574)

            And that's what everyone is missing. They think she is a spoiled brat blackmailing him for cutting her off. As you said from all appearances that car was her only transport. Given that's she got palsy she's probably very limited in what kind of transportation she can use. Although it doesn't excuse the fact that she should get her own transportation he's clearly using it as a form of control. He probably gave it to her with the intent to use it to control her, when she failed to do whatever it was he wanted he'd yank the chain and try to force her to obey. I'm willing to bet up to this point he's exerted immense influence over her and her life.

            He needs serious help in the form of counseling, and I dare say she does as well because I really don't think this was an adult response to the situation.

        • you reap what you sow

        • Nope. She's posted about it elsewhere, but basically, she saved the video in order to blackmail him. Fast forward to a week ago, and he threatens to stop allowing her to borrow his Mercedes. So she posts the video in response. They're both horrible people: the judge for beating his daughter, and the girl for blackmailing him over it. If she wanted him punished, she had the chance. She didn't. She wanted money from him.

          Devil's advocate... as the victim of physical abuse, why shouldn't she have a say what form her retaliation should take? Specifically, what makes her a horrible person just because she decided his abuse of her should have financial penalty that directly benefits her? Given she likely doesn't fear continued physical abuse and given he's not likely to physically abuse other people, imprisonment wouldn't be worthwhile. A nice steep fine, perhaps? With perhaps her as the beneficiary as the aggrieved party?

  • 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.

  • 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: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You don't have to spank your kids to keep them in line. I was spanked a lot as a kid. Didn't want to finish my food, didn't want to go to bed, fighting with siblings (I was middle child. What older said was always right and younger was too young to know better, so always my fault), plus other random things. It didn't make me a better person, it made be a better lier and I stopped trusting my parents. I knew that if I went to them with a problem, there was a chance I would get in trouble and a chance I

    • 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 belmolis (702863) <billposer@alum. m i t .edu> on Saturday November 05, 2011 @05:25PM (#37960836) Homepage
    For those who don't know the US legal system, in general criminal law is a state matter. Federal criminal applies only in certain areas, such as crimes committed on federal property (e.g. in a national park), against federal officials, by members of the armed forces, involving interstate commerce, espionage, treason, counterfeiting, and so forth. Most ordinary crimes - murders, assaults, thefts, etc. - are purely state matters. All that the federal prosecutor said in this case was: "No, there isn't any federal crime here." The state prosecutor almost certainly already knew that and was only checking just in case some provision of federal law that he didn' tknow about provided a way around the state statute of limitations.
  • I got beat as a kid. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dadioflex (854298) on Saturday November 05, 2011 @05:43PM (#37960962)
    Ho ho. I got beat left and right for stuff I did as a kid. This video is so much BS, bunch of wormy liberals complaining about a real person taking control of their family, after their daughter has stolen stuff off the internet. Yup. That's what I thought until I watched about a third of it before I couldn't stomach any more.

    I'm for discipline, and I'm for corporal punishment, but that was a sick individual getting his kicks punishing his child. You lose the moral battle when you curse as much as he did, when you seem to enjoy it as much as he did, when you won't stop even when your child is a weeping wreck in front of you.

    What sort of parent looks back on that I thinks they've helped mould their child into a good citizen?

    There's a lot of talk about how she only showed this after he took away her toys. Because you expected adult, rational behaviour from her? Yeah, that's how she was raised. Wasn't it?

    I don't normally get angry at Random Q. Internetguy, but that wasn't an Internet meme, that thing you just saw, that was the repeated, planned, brutalization of a child by her parent, and it was appalling.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by whoop (194)

      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.

    • The line between discipline and abuse was crossed when he lost control. He was hitting her out of anger, not because he thought the resulting punishment would make her a more responsible member of society.
  • by localman (111171) on Saturday November 05, 2011 @06:11PM (#37961258) Homepage

    "his daughter released the tape to retaliate against him"

    Really! I wonder where she learned about such vengeful behavior? Though I'd have to say her releasing the truth about you for any reason is far less questionable than you beating her like that. And I'm not even against restrained use of corporal punishment in some cases - but what you did, to a girl that age, for the crime committed?

    Sir, you are a shitty father. If your daughter knows well enough that you're going to beat her in a scandalous way that she sets up a camera to catch you in the act, you have failed utterly as a parent. If she's able to cause a national sensation by showing a few minutes of what she grew up with, you are a lousy human being. It is a travesty that one as you has ever sat on the bench and decided the fates of others.

    • by lanner (107308)

      Telling and showing off the truth can rarely be attributed as retaliation to any sane observer.

  • by Chas (5144) on Saturday November 05, 2011 @08:37PM (#37962264) Homepage Journal

    I was spanked and beaten as a child.

    To be honest, in a lot of cases, I (and my brother) were completely out of control. And when I say completely, I MEAN *COMPLETELY*. The kind of behavior that's not acceptable ANYPLACE. The kind that gets you ejected from restaurants. The kind that has the police coming and talking to your parents. The kind that gets your parents called in to school for multiple parent-teacher conferences.

    Yes, I've had a belt taken to me. At most, 2-3 whacks across the ass.

    The only time I was ever beaten anyplace NEAR this badly was when my brother and I were caught playing out on the roof of our house. We scared my father so damn badly with that stunt that he smacked us silly.

    Needless to say we never did that again.

    The are times when a hand or belt across the backside is acceptable.

    But the severity of the beating in this case is unlike ANYTHING I had as a child (and let's face it, I drove my parents NUTS, quite literally, my mother was a stone's-throw away from being committed a time or two).

    And the whole bit about "You turn over and take it".

    Like fucking hell! I'll be damned if I EVER give someone a free hand in beating me for prolonged periods. And I expect no less from ANYONE, adult or child.

    If my parents had treated me like that, I'd have killed them. Flat out. No exceptions.

    It's no wonder the girl grew up and became a vindictive little bitch.

    When you discipline a child, you spank them at the time of the infraction. You link cause to effect. You don't "wait until dad gets home" then stage a beating. Even on a teenager. ESPECIALLY on a teenager. All you're teaching them at that point is that, if you're doing something wrong, it's okay to simply lash out at any time as "payback".

    Sound like her behavior in this case?

Computers are unreliable, but humans are even more unreliable. Any system which depends on human reliability is unreliable. -- Gilb

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