In a span of 24 hours, a longtime elected official in Aransas Couny has become the center of intense national scrutiny over a video of him beating his daughter.
County Court at Law Judge William "Bill" Adams is now facing multiple investigations, including one from local authorities as well as possibly another from Child Protective Services, according to the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.
Last week, Adams' daughter, Hillary Adams, posted a graphic video she recorded in 2004 of her father beating her for several minutes, allegedly for illegally downloading music and games online.
In the description of the video, which is age-restricted for its disturbing content, she explained that she suffered from ataxic cerebral palsy. She also wrote:
"Judge William Adams is not fit to be anywhere near the law system if he can't even exercise fit judgement as a parent himself. Do not allow this man to ever be re-elected again. His 'judgement' is a giant farce. Signed, Hillary Adams, his daughter."
On Tuesday, the video's viewership began to soar after a link to it was posted on Reddit, a popular online community. Aransas County offices were soon flooded with calls, according to news reports. By Wednesday, the video had been watched over 650,000 times.
In an interview with the NBC affiliate in Corpus Christi, Adams admitted it was him in the video and defended himself.
"i really don't want to get into this right now because as you can see my life has been made very difficult...In my mind I have not done anything wrong other than discipline my child when she was caught stealing. I did lose my temper, I've apologized," Adams said.
Adams, a Republican, was the County Judge on the Aransas County Commissioners Court before resigning in 2001 to accept an appointment as court-at-law judge to a newly created court. He has since been re-elected several times, often running unopposed.
In the last 24 hours, a Facebook group called "Don't Re-Elect Judge William Adams" has drawn over 8,000 likes.
Hillary Adams, for her part, wrote on Twitter today that she would like the threats of violence against her father to stop.
"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.