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. jim

    Anyone else would be in jail for this and be fired from their job. Nice justice system, Texas.

    November 4, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  2. gail

    One wonders if Daddy "gets off" on spamking the behind of a 16 year old girl? . Sounds like an old perv to me. If someone did that to me he/she would not wake up the next morning.

    November 4, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  3. noemi

    As americans we have raised a generation of lazy,rx junkies,disrepectful,child/baby killers cause they can't deal with the life they chose to make for themselves.what a sad nation we've become.

    November 4, 2011 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ed

    You all need to remember that she was being disciplined for stealing, and it wasn't her first time doing that.

    The video did not appear to be excessive... and I bet she never stole again.

    November 4, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jennifer

      Not excessive? Cnn just showed a part of it. The full video is online. It went on for seven minutes. Not to mention, she was disabled. She had cerebral palsy. If you knew anything about that disease, you'd know how bad this really was. Physical pain can cause horrible spasms that can last for hours in people who have it. This poor girl had no chance and no one to protect her. A few mp3s or bootleg games are not worth that.

      November 4, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cyndi Price

      Not excessive Ed? Are you on crack? Bet she never stole again? She downloaded something on the computer-he takes a thick wide mans belt and beats her for seven minutes -cusses her-and threatens to hit her in the face. He ENJOYS this -gets off on it -and the mother? she went right along with it. The judge said HE did not think it was excessive, the truth would come out. The truth is he needs to be removed from the justice system-he has proven he is irrational-he said maybe it was overkill-let me tell you this was not the first time or the last -this type of sickness does not go away like the flu. It is shameful "it exceeds the statue of limitations" screwing a child up for life should not have a statue especially when you have such graphic evidence. If he keeps his job -all of Texas should be ashamed.

      November 5, 2011 at 2:18 am | Report abuse |
  5. Pam Englefield

    Regular beatings as this child got it totally not acceptable. It doesn't matter what her father does for a job, it is unacceptable.

    As for her mother, she has been forgiven by the daughter, but she was also party to these regular beatings as well and is therefore also part of the punishment. It seems like in the interview, she is covering her back by blaming the father and his control. No, sorry, she must be made to see that she also is responsible and accept the criticism that comes her way. A mother fights to PROTECT her child no watch beatings and also carry out beatings.

    November 4, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Parent

    Judge Williams Adams,

    It seems as if you are defending your actions which are now made public. I would like to challenge you to an open an honest conversation pertaining to your basis for delivering such punishment as well as your stance on current political issues. All of America has already seen your weakness as a father. If you have any dignity and deem it necessary to explain your stance, this is your opportunity to do so. If you choose to dress in your robe and hide behind your role as a parasite in this economy than I deem this conversation unnecessary. As it stands now, society views you as a degenerate parental figure. I am providing you with the opportunity to prove them wrong. We all have decisions to make. This is one that will define your legacy.

    November 4, 2011 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
  7. brnsouth

    I was treated the same way by my father. I have never gotten over it and probably never will. I wish I could. My father has been deceased over 25 years. He would close the windows so the neighbors could not hear. I do not understand how people can treat their children so cruelly. I had a child to love not to beat to death! As for William Adams, he must have a lot of problems, like being bi-polar? He needs help. I hope his wife leaves him, he is fired and put in perpetual treatment although he has caused so much damage it can't be undone.

    November 4, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
  8. gung hoe

    @noemi pretty much hit the nail rite on the Head
    what a proud nation we once were now a nation where we back a president that runs around the world bowing and apoligizing before world leaders and even consider this POOR excuse for president reelection .This man should not have even considered

    November 4, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cmoo

      gung hoe this has nothing to do with the president so go set your soapbox up somewhere else please.

      November 5, 2011 at 1:33 am | Report abuse |
  9. banasy©

    @gung hoe:

    Been reading slider's and Mr. President's posts again, have you? Bowing and apologizing?
    Bull sh!t.

    This man is giving the people of this great Nation chances to be more than one party's toadies.
    He didn't invent the problems that face this Nation, he didn't invent abortion, he didn't invent junkies, and he certainy didn't invent child abuse.

    As I recall, this generation were primarily born under Republican rule, with BC taking on the presidency for 8 years of that.
    so, really, WHO are the poor excuses for leaders? Hmmm?

    November 4, 2011 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |
  10. banasy©

    This whole thing hasn't a thing to do with politics, anyway, insofar as the Presidential race goes.
    This man isn't fit to be a family court judge, when he is committing the same offenses that he is sitting in judgment of.
    He should be deeply ashamed of himself, and since he will not be prosecuted, at least transferred to night court.
    He should be stripped of any judicial powers, but that's jmo.

    November 5, 2011 at 12:05 am | Report abuse |
  11. tif31

    @gung hoe
    Where has the president been apologizing to world leaders, and for what reason ? And as far as bowing, in some countries it is a custom and a show of respect. I've always been taught, if you want respect, you show respect.

    Sounds like you've got a hard on for our president.
    Get used to him, cause he's going to be our president for another four years come 2012.

    November 5, 2011 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
  12. BRCLMTY

    What a big man, beating up on a defenseless little girl. Obviously he was just taking out his own frustration on her. It's child abuse, pure and simple. Now we know what goes on in Texas homes when nobody is watching.

    November 5, 2011 at 12:33 am | Report abuse |
  13. gung hoe

    Sorry guys for not responding to your responses! As far as this having nothing to do with presidential politics ,well maybe so maybe not banasy what is the definition of nation.In order for our nation to be great and PROUD ,it has to start at the top rite from your great president all the way down it includes everybody.As far as this judge is concerned I hope and pray that he can receive in return half the beating that he doled out on this girl,while he is incarcerated with people he sentenced.

    November 5, 2011 at 2:17 am | Report abuse |
  14. Whacky Weed World.

    Cool story fredwolf! Were you listening to Johnny Cash's 'A boy named Sue' when you wrote it?

    November 5, 2011 at 2:39 am | Report abuse |
  15. gung hoe

    And for those of you who want to condenm me for what I said ,boo hoo get over yourselves I get to read your posts day in and day out.Now I was responding to naomie @708pm ,where she was saying what a great nation we once was.Well like I said in order for this nation to be great it has to start at the top Now those of you that questioned my statement of obama apologizing to other world leaders,if you people dont remember or chose not to I will not answer that

    November 5, 2011 at 2:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Whacky Weed World.

      'We once was...RW illiterate. If we concede a morsel of your point via your political pontification, this occurred well before Obama and smack dab in the middle of the Bush Reich. The decline in respect for the US is laid at the feet of Herr Bush using your screed. Live with it.

      November 5, 2011 at 2:48 am | Report abuse |
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