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Judge: Daughter posted beating video out of spite

 McALLEN, Texas (AP) _ A judge who presides over child abuse cases said Thursday that his daughter posted a YouTube video of him beating her several years ago because he told her he was reducing her financial support and taking away her Mercedes.
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(YouTube)
(YouTube)
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\r\nAransas County Court-at-Law Judge William Adams, 51, issued a statement through his lawyer in which he questioned his 23-year-old daughter Hillary's motives for posting the secretly made 2004 video online last week. The three-page statement did not include an apology for the beating, in which the judge lashed his daughter with a belt 17 times in the legs while she begged him to stop.
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\r\nPolice launched an investigation into the beating on Wednesday, and on Thursday, the state Department of Family and Protective Services confirmed that it had requested that Adams not handle any of its cases while it conducts its own investigation.
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\r\nPatrick Crimmins, a spokesman for the agency, declined to elaborate on the exact nature of the investigation. But he said in general, the agency would only investigate a case in which a suspected abuse victim has already reached adulthood if there are still children in the home who could be at risk. Adams was granted joint custody of his 10-year-old daughter in his 2007 divorce.
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\r\nThere are no allegations of alleged abuse by Adams against his younger daughter, who primarily resides with her mother, Hallie Adams. Crimmins declined to say whether his agency is investigating the parental fitness of Hallie Adams, who lashed Hillary once during the 2004 beating.
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\r\nCrimmins said his agency ordinarily wouldn't disclose that its investigations, but it did in this case because the investigation is the reason it requested that William Adams not be assigned to its cases.
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\r\nAdams, Aransas County's top judge, was elected in 2001 and has dealt with at least 349 family law cases in the past year alone, nearly 50 of which involved state caseworkers seeking determine whether parents were fit to raise their children.
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\r\nIn the video, which has been viewed on YouTube more than 2.4 million times, the judge lashes his then 16-year-old daughter with a belt while she wailed and pleaded with him to stop. At the beginning of the video he tells his wife to get his younger daughter out of the room. He told a TV station Wednesday that the video ``looks worse than it is'' and that he was just disciplining his child.
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\r\nThe child protection investigation comes on top of investigations by Rockport Police, Texas Rangers and the State Commission on Judicial Conduct. Adams said in his statement Thursday that he will ``respond'' to any investigations.
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\r\nCounty officials confirmed that Adams will not hear cases related to Child Protective Services for at least the next two weeks. And the top administrator in Aransas County cast doubt on whether Adams could credibly return to the bench.
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\r\n``I would think it would be very difficult,'' said Aransas County Judge C.H. ``Burt'' Mills Jr. ``Personally I don't see how he can recover from this.''
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\r\nIf the judicial commission and police investigations don't lead to punishment or charges, Adams could be safe on the bench until he's up for re-election in three years.
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\r\nHillary Adams says the outpouring of support and encouragement she's received since posting the clip last week is tempered by the sadness that it's her father repeatedly lashing her with a belt and threatening to beat her ``into submission.''
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\r\n``I'm experiencing some regret because I just pulled the covers off my own father's misbehavior after so many people thought he was such a good person. ... But so many people are also telling me I did the right thing,'' she told The Associated Press outside her mother's home in the Gulf Coast town of Portland on Wednesday.
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\r\nShe said the attack was not the only one. ``It did happen regularly for a period of time,'' she told NBC's ``Today'' show on Thursday during an appearance with her mother.
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\r\nIn that interview, Hallie Adams blamed her ex-husband's bouts of violence on his ``addiction,'' calling it a ``family secret.'' She did not elaborate. Their 22-year marriage ended in 2007. She also said William Adams had threatened to have their custody agreement modified to take their younger daughter away.
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\r\nWilliam Adams painted a different picture.
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\r\n``Just prior to the YouTube upload, a concerned father shared with his 23-year-old daughter that he was unwilling to continue to work hard and be her primary source of financial support, if she was going to simply `drop out,' and strive to achieve no more in life than to work part time at a video game store,'' Adams' statement said. ``Hillary warned her father if he reduced her financial support, and took away her Mercedes automobile, which her father had provided, he would live to regret it.''
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\r\nHillary Adams did not immediately respond to email requests Thursday seeking a response. She said Wednesday that she turned on the video camera in 2004 because her parents were angry that she had downloaded pirated content online and she sensed something was going to happen.
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\r\nCorpus Christi television station KZTV caught up with the judge Wednesday and he said, ``In my mind, I haven't done anything wrong other than discipline my child after she was caught stealing,'' Adams said. ``And I did lose my temper, but I've since apologized.''

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<한글 기사>
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\r\n美서 '판사 아버지가 딸 구타' 영상 논란
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\r\n미국에서 현직 판사가 10대 딸을 허리띠로 구타하는 모습의 영상이 공개돼 논란을 빚고 있다.
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\r\nCNN은 2일 힐러리 애덤스라는 여성이 이 영상을 인터넷에 올리면서 자신이 피해 자라고 밝혔다고 보도했다.
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\r\n애덤스는 또 트위터에서 이 영상에 대해 자신이 16세이던 지난 2004년 당시 인터넷에서 불법으로 게임과 음악을 다운로드받았다는 이유로 아버지가 허리띠로 자신 을 마구 때리고 감정적으로도 학대한 모습이라고 말했다.
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\r\n애덤스는 자신이 선천성 운동실조성 뇌성마비를 앓고 있으며 장애 때문에 정보 기술에 더 관심을 갖게 됐다고 설명했다.
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\r\n그는 "어떻게 말해야 할지 모르겠지만, 무엇보다도 필요한 것은 아버지를 비난하는게 아니라 도와야 한다는 것"이라고 덧붙였다.
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\r\n이 여성의 아버지인 윌리엄 애덤스는 현지 KRIS TV와 인터뷰에서 "몇 년 전에 일어난 일이었다. 내가 사과했다"고 말했다. 아버지 애덤스는 텍사스주 아란사스 카운티 법원 판사로 재직중이다.
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\r\n이 사건을 수사중인 텍사스주 락포트 경찰은 CNN과 인터뷰에서 "영상 내용에 대 한 검증이 첫번째 단계"라고 말했다.
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