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Court suspends Texas judge taped beating daughter

By Scott Thompson, Phil Gast and Joe Sutton, CNN
November 24, 2011 -- Updated 0245 GMT (1045 HKT)
A judge caught on video beating his daughter with a belt in 2004 was suspended Tuesday by the Texas Supreme Court.
A judge caught on video beating his daughter with a belt in 2004 was suspended Tuesday by the Texas Supreme Court.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Judge can have supervised visitation with younger daughter
  • Another court order suspends Judge William Adams
  • The judge was roundly criticized when a video of him beating his daughter with a belt surfaced
  • The judge has defended his actions from video

(CNN) -- Judge William Adams, who made national headlines after the release of a 2004 video of him beating his then-teenage daughter, has been suspended by the Texas Supreme Court.

Adams, while not admitting guilt or wrongdoing, agreed to the suspension. He will be paid during the suspension.

The judge's lawyer, William Dudley, said his client proposed the suspension motion with input from the state Commission on Judicial Conduct, which is investigating the incident. Adams already was on voluntary leave, Dudley said in a statement to CNN.

In a separate ruling, a Texas judge ruled Wednesday that Adams can have supervised visitation with his younger daughter, 10.

Adams, a court-at-law judge in Aransas County, was roundly criticized when his now-adult daughter posted online a video of him beating her with a belt when she was 16.

The video also showed the judge cursing and berating Hillary Adams.

William Adams was punishing the girl for using the Internet "to acquire music and games that were unavailable for legal purchase at the time," Hillary Adams wrote on the web posting.

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The video is punctuated by cracks of the man's belt and the girl's screams and cries.

At one point in the 7 1/2-minute video, the man says to his near-hysterical daughter, "What happened to you, Hillary? Once you were an obedient, nice little girl. Now you lie, cheat and steal."

He yells at her, "You want to put some more computer games on? You want some more?"

"Are you happy?" he asks her. "Disobeying your parents? You don't deserve to f---ing be in this house."

He also berates the girl's mother for allowing a "f---ing computer" in the house.

"I wanted to show my father, 'Hey, I think you were in some denial about the way you are treating me and my mother.' And maybe showing him this would make him see something he didn't before," Hillary Adams, now 23, told CNN.

Earlier this month, William Adams released a statement to explain his side of the story.

"If the public must know, 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," the judge said in a statement.

Adams handles family-related and juvenile court issues for the county court system.

Meanwhile, a judge ruled Wednesday that Adams can have supervised visitation with his 10-year-old daughter.

"Respondent is enjoined from causing bodily injury to the child or threatening the child with bodily injury," District Judge Kemper Stephen Williams ordered.

"The parties are ... ordered to conduct themselves at all times in a manner that will minimize the exposure of the child to harmful parental conflict," according to a copy of the order provided by attorney Brett Pritchard, who represents the judge's former wife, Hallie Adams.

Dudley said both parents, who have joint custody, have been ordered to attend a parenting class. They divorced in 2007.

"Judge Adams is certain that Judge Williams' ruling reflects the trial court's paramount duty to protect this child's best interests," Dudley said in a statement. "Judge Adams will take all appropriate steps to abide by the court's temporary ruling."

Hallie Adams had unilaterally tried to keep his client away from the girl, Dudley said.

A temporary restraining order issued earlier this month enjoined Adams from visiting his younger daughter, Pritchard said.

Earlier this month, Hallie Adams told CNN's Anderson Cooper about what she called a dysfunctional home where violence was a regular occurrence. The mother participated in the videotaped beating, but has since apologized. She said her former husband told her to help administer the punishment.

"She's ashamed she allowed that to happen," Pritchard told CNN Wednesday. "She's elated her 10-year-old will be able to visit with her dad but not be subjected to emotional and verbal abuse."

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