Judge William Adams said the video of him repeatedly beating his disabled daughter with a leather belt while screaming at her is not as bad as it looks.
On Wednesday, Adams admitted to being the man in the video who is shown beating a 16-year-old girl for playing video games and downloading music, telling KRIS TV in Corpus Christi that it happened years ago.. I apologized.
Adams, who is the Aransas County Court-at-Law Judge, is an elected official and a family law judge who presides over child abuse cases, according to the Associated Press.
In the video, Adams yells at his daughter Hillary, who suffers from cerebral palsy, is it fun to disobey your mom and dad? and “You don't deserve to be in this f----n house!”
The local police department in Rockland, Texas, where Judge Adams lives, opened an investigation into the video on Tuesday night and is currently working the Texas Rangers and the Texas Department of Public Safety.
The video, which was filmed in 2004, was posted to YouTube by Hillary Adams on Oct. 27. The girl said that that the physical abuse in the Adams' household went on for years and that she thought abuse at some level was normal.
My father's harassment was getting really bad, so I decided to finally publish the video that I had been sitting on for seven years, Adams said in a separate interview with KRIS.
Hillary Adams said she wants to use the media attention to get her father help, not to persecute him.
Please spread the word that my father needs professional help and not hatred. We can offer him the tools to be a better person, she tweeted on Wednesday.
It is my wish that people stop threatening my father and start offering professional help. That is what he really needs, she also said on Twitter.
Together we can bring attention to emotional abuse and inspire other victims to speak up. Abuse is not always physical! she said earlier.
However, she also vocalized her support for the Facebook group Don't Re-Elect Judge William Adams, which gained 10,000 subscribers in less than 12 hours on Wednesday.
Since it was posted on the Web site Reddit, the shocking video has outraged the online community. The national response of the video -- ranging from prank calling a pizza order in to Judge Adams' house, to repeated calls to his office, to death threats -- has again brought attention to the idea of Internet vigilantism.
There is a grand tradition around the world of offended Internet denizens punishing people for not behaving, Torie Bosch writes in Slate's tech blog. When a crime horrifies us, the Internet makes it easier to indulge curiosity... But when it comes to exacting revenge, the waters get murky.
Adams’ alleged crime is heinous; if the video is an accurate portrayal of what happened, then the disgust expressed around the Web is certainly valid. Is Internet vigilantism ever OK? Is it fine to engage in a good old-fashioned pizza-ordering prank? If so, when does Internet vigilantism cross the line and begin interfering with the proper judicial system?