The video showing a man and woman beating Hillary Adams, a teenager with ataxic cerebral palsy, for downloading music and video games, went viral and sparked outrage after being posted to Reddit on Tuesday.

Aransas County authorities said Wednesday that they had launched an investigation into the circumstances surrounding this video. Uploaded on YouTube, it purports to show Judge William Adams cursing at his teenage daughter and using a belt to whip her for violating his orders to stay away from the Internet

The person who uploaded the video on YouTube signs the post as Hillary Adams, the judge's daughter and the target of the beating. The post says the video was filmed in 2004.

After being shown the video, this afternoon Judge Adams responded to the tape. He said: It happened years ago.. I apologized. It's not as bad as it looks on tape.

As a result of the furore, the video was being examined by the District Attorney, and previous controversial judgements Judge Adams made in cases involving children have come to light.

In the video after delivering around ten powerful strikes across her legs and backside, his wife then grabs the belt from him to take over, at which point he walks out only to return moments later with another belt so he can continue the beating.

It gained speed yesterday with the video trending on Twitter and being viewed 600,000 times on YouTube. A Facebook page entitled Don't Re-Elect Judge William Adams was set up yesterday and already has 6,000 followers.

The video is shown below: