November 4th, 2011
12:31 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Family court judge should not be beating child

Comments of the Morning:

"Gotta run. Time to beat the kid and kick the dog." - sickciety

"Attention Lawyers – Never, never, never spank your disabled 16-year-old child. Have you no decency?" – babyBoomers0

DA: Statute of limitations prevents charges in judge's beating of daughter

Now 23 years old, Hillary Adams has released a videotape of her father, William Adams - a family court judge - strapping her when she was 16. Thousands of CNN.com readers responded to the story, many sharing stories of similar beatings. While some questioned the daughter's motives, others said there was no excuse for her father's behavior, as a family man and a professional.

SDN said, "I think it safe to say that if you were videoed doing this to anyone else, you'd be arrested and charged with assault. The video/audio would go a long way in convicting you, and sending you to prison. I condemn this man for beating his child. Simple."

fredwolf said, "I hate to admit it: beatings do set some people straight. I had a cop stepdad who beat me often, once because I got a 'A' in science and he thought it made him look stupid. He beat my mom too and she wanted to leave him. He threatened to put our neighbors in jail if they reported it. Few years later when I returned on leave and he was retired, we went for a beer, and I beat the living ##&* out of him, partly with his own gun, in an alley. We threw his stuff in the street. The beating worked! He never returned. I never beat my kids, all it does make 'em figure out ways to get away with it next time."

dontgiveadam said, "I was beaten frequently with a belt for just about anything from not shutting the bedroom light promptly at 9 pm to not cutting the grass the right way. I lived in fear of my father. And, turned to drugs and alcohol in my early teens as an escape from the pain. I'm now sober, but, it took me 20-years to come to grips with my past to finally become clean and sober. I forgave my dad, but will never forget the pain and agony of living in constant fear growing up."

FFelonie said, "I'm glad someone finally got something like this on cam. My dad did this and worse to me: full-blown punches in the face, whipped on the legs with a belt, and no compassion. I wish I could bring him up on charges now. ..."

sisNorth said, "It's astounding to see the number of comments here that chastise this young woman for coming forward and are suspicious of her motives. Her motives are totally beside the point ... this man was brutally assaulting his daughter, a child, repeatedly. Her mother was complicit, she did not protect her child. None of you know what was going on there or if she is 'spoiled' or 'bad' or a 'brat'. You ASSUME because of the beating she got. He beat her because that's what he does ... he's a grown man beating on someone who can't defend herself, someone he is supposed to love and protect from harm."

GenCouncil said, "There isn't anything inherently wrong with corporal punishment as long as it is practiced with temperance. Sometimes the human ability to understand that it has done wrong is limited by its pride."

iEvolved said, "If you have to beat a 16 year old with a belt to get your point across, then you're a terrible father. How many cases of child abuse has this judge presided over during his appointment over the years? Pathetic."

SheliaYudelo said, "First of all - no doubt the girl is messed up: she was routinely beaten and verbally abused by both of her parents. Duh. More importantly, it does not matter what her motives were for posting the video - what matters is that (i) this man is a public figure; and, (ii) he determines the fates of children; and, (iii) he beat, humiliated, and terrified his daughter; and, (iv) who viciously assaults and tries to destroy someone for downloading music?"

flonzy said, "Yeah the beatings have nothing to do with the person she is today."

Do your views align with these commenters' thoughts? Post a comment below or sound off on video.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

soundoff (94 Responses)
  1. Jonathan D. VanSkiver

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheFatherhoodConnection/

    November 6, 2011 at 12:40 am | Report abuse |
  2. Bill

    Not only doesn't this jerk belong on the bench but he needs some serious counseling and/or jail time – or both – to get his parenting skills up to speed! Just think, a whiole lot of people were likely sentenced by this family court "judge" despite his own poor judgement. How sad.

    November 6, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  3. tee

    I think the young lady desired a whooping. Even though the incident lasted for 7 minutes, he spent most of his time talking to her. How many times do we have to talk to our children for them not to be disobedient? The system is set up where the parents are almost afraid to punish their children. There's nothing wrong with a good old fashion butt whooping. It didn't hurt our parents and grandparents, it certainly won't hurt children today.
    As for the nanny, when she decides to have children of her own, then she can talk and become an expert at parenting. As for now, I would not listen to her.

    November 6, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Rachel

    It's pathetic that literate, educated people are reading this horrific story and blaming the victim. It turns my stomach to read someone write, "I think the young lady desired a whooping." I don't care what she was doing, and I don't care about the "timing" of releasing this video. There is never a reason to use extreme corporal punishment on a child, regardless of their age or ability. There are plenty of studies that show that children who undergo violent punishment struggle to perform in school and having lasting cognitive and emotional delays, but here's just one (link below.) I'm completely flabbergasted that people are running to the defense of a parent who fails to provide safety, security, and unconditional love in such a profound way. And do I dare mention that because the victim is female, we immediately accuse her of being manipulative and melodramatic? But if a male came out with this video, we'd commend him for being brave and compromising his "masculinity" to come forward as a victim of abuse? What is wrong with us?

    http://blog.lib.umn.edu/cehd/insideout/2011/07/study_on_corporal_punishment_s.html

    November 7, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  5. nathan

    people that are blaming the story have no empathy whatsoever. If it was you that was beaten you would not stand for it you will want to put the person that did it to you into jail. Not only did the guy hit her with a belt which is terrible but he was a family court judge he should know better he should be in jail for his entire life and hit with a belt every day that he is in jail.

    November 9, 2011 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
  6. nathan

    i meant victim not story

    November 9, 2011 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  7. Gretchen

    My father used the belt once on me for "looking like I was going to talk back," (I was 10), and when he saw the bruises and the extreme emotional distress it causes, he never touched me again. I loved him dearly and am grateful that he realized that a whipping with a belt (my brothers got some) which was "a normal form of punishment in the 1930's" was not appropriate. He got his point across clearly when he said. "I am disappointed in you." I do know that children respond differently to discipline, but the beating I saw was not discipline, but abuse! The girl clearly was terrorized. Taking away the computer and other restrictions should have been done. All people lie at some point in their lives, and it's not uncommon for children to steal. My son was 8 when he took something from a store. I brought him back to the store and had him apologize to the manager and talk with the security officer. That made such an impression that he never stole anything after that. Buying children expensive things will never make up for not loving a child.

    November 9, 2011 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
  8. rootoo11

    I held a 1 lb gorgeous baby boy as he died in my arms from breast cancer treatment. I have a 17 yr old daughter (treatment was when she was 5 yrs old) that we don't hit and most would give their left arm to have this child. I realize just how precious and delicate children are but some folks obviously don't. Did someone post about not being a parent? Sorry, ......my patience with Judge Adams is nil. He was given a gift from God that he abused. No sympathy. btw: My 17 yr old as of next week has asked that instead of gifts she get $$ so that her school's Key Club can make Christmas bags for local kids-her Birthday Gift. NO PROMPTING. Is she perfect ? of course not. Child has serious warm heart. Lead the way

    November 11, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  9. rootoo11

    the man is vile and w/o a brain on what planet do you live???

    November 11, 2011 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Solveig Nordwall

    As one more adult whose father used his anger to control his family and passed that legacy on to me, I can testify to the serious after-effects of physical abuse. Not only do you grow up walking on eggs, never knowing what's going to trigger the rage, but you end up wanting to punch out somebody else's lights. I remember so clearly the helpless fury at my father after one of his attacks. I also remember while pregnant and a soon-to-be single mom being warned again and again by my doctor and other care-givers about passing on this legacy of violence. Those who were beaten as children often beat their own. When he was three I came at him like a mom out of hell, arm raised high with (I'm sure) red eyes, and he looked at me with terror in his eyes, the same look I gave my father when he came at me. I pulled back, horrified. I swore, and have upheld my own Laws of Anger: even in anger – especially in anger – be fair. Control that anger so that it becomes a useful tool, not just a handy weapon. Before I had my son I would now and then explode and hit someone. With several years of martial arts training, these were no wuss attacks. What is so very scary about using violence against someone is that the instant of impact feels so good, like an evil orgasm. It is so hard to stop once you cross that line. It has nothing to do with discipline and everything to do with rage-release – which then of course has to be justified, because who is going to admit that it felt good to hit your child (or anyone else)? Reining in that anger until you can verbalize it effectively takes a huge amount of training and commitment. Not releasing it in violence, holding it in and tempering it can be like swallowing grenades, but the alternative is heartbreakingly destructive.

    November 23, 2011 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  11. Latrice

    What an awesome way to explain this-now I know eeyvrthnig!

    November 25, 2011 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
  12. byxyrmdbit

    XgIa7O ixptjqmcwdgt

    November 28, 2011 at 3:53 am | Report abuse |
  13. craimxlka

    kudhXd vaamymmtxygw

    December 1, 2011 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
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