CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS – A video uploaded to YouTube is gaining national attention for claiming to show a Texas judge beating a young girl.
A description on the video says the abused girl is Hillary Adams, the daughter of Aransas County Judge at Law William Adams.
The video’s timestamp shows it was uploaded October 27, but didn’t receive national attention until Wednesday morning. Last night the video had 300 hits. By Wednesday afternoon, it had already topped 500,000.
In a phone interview with TV station KZTV, Hillary Adams says she uploaded the video to bring attention to the problems she says she had when she was younger.
“It had happened before, and had been escalating,” Adams says. “I set up a camera, and I caught it.”
Adams says she was downloading music from a peer-to-peer networking site — something she says her father had forbidden — before the incident happened.
“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 says the abuse happened for years, but she never thought it was unusual. “I thought abuse at some level was normal.”
A woman, purportedly the judge’s wife, also appears on the video hitting the girl. The video’s description claims the wife was also abused and should not be blamed for her conduct in the video.
Users on the popular site Reddit uploaded images of pizza orders they sent to his house overnight, and some said they were calling the Aransas County courthouse to leave messages.
The judge is up for re-election, and a Facebook page has been created advising people to vote him out.
Judge Adams responded to the allegations on Wednesday, saying “It happened years ago… I apologize.”
When asked if he thought the conduct in the video was excessive, Judge Adams answered, “It’s not as bad as it looks on tape.”
Watch the video below. WARNING: This video may be disturbing to some viewers.
Police open investigation
Aransas County officials say the video is causing major disruptions, as people are flooding phone lines to complain.
Officials there say the Sherriff’s office and local police have opened an investigation into the claims made by Judge Adams’ daughter.
Judge Adams says he has already contacted the Judicial Review in Austin and “more will come out” during the investigation.
Local officials say they’re stepping up police presence in the small town, after many people have called in death threats.