Following a one year suspension, Judge William Adams returned to the bench on Wednesday. Adams was suspended after a video was posted online by his daughter that showed the judge beating his daughter when she was a teenager. Adams is the top judge in Aransas County, Texas. According to the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, Adams did not address the incident that prevented him from presiding over cases for the past year.
Last week, Adams’ yearlong suspension was lifted by the Texas Supreme Court. He still received his $150,000 salary while on suspension. In September, Adams received a public warning from the State Commission on Judicial Conduct. In the year leading up to his suspension, Adams worked on 349 family law cases, with 50 of them involving the decision as to whether or not parents were fit to raise their children. Adams will no longer have physical abuse cases filed in his court by the state but the district clerk said that the majority of the cases dealt with poor living conditions or neglect.
Adams’ daughter posted the video, which is close to eight minutes long and was viewed millions of times. At the time the video was taken, his daughter Hillary was 16-years-old. In the video you can see her being hit on her legs over 12 times. Adams becomes irate during the video because Hillary would not get on the bed to be beaten and you can hear him scream, “Lay down or I’ll spank you in your (expletive) face.”
The video was taped in 2004 and Hillary said that she released it in the hopes that it would force her father to get help. Hillary said that she was beaten by her father because she downloaded files illegally on the internet. Adams claims that Hillary released the video as revenge because he told her that he was going to take away her Mercedes and reduce the amount of financial support he gives her.
Hillary and her mother, Hallie Adams, said that William is not fit to return to the bench yet. Hallie Adams was also seen on the video hitting Hillary. According to the local district attorney, too much time went by, which means charges could not be filed against William.
County officials told angry residents complaining about Adams that they cannot do anything about the situation since Adams is an elected official with a term that does not end until 2014. There have been so many threats against Adams that security has been increased at the court and visitors must now pass through metal detectors before entering the building.