The 10-year-old daughter of an Aransas County family law judge and his former wife is at the heart of a highly publicized child custody dispute. A court order barring the father from sharing physical custody was sparked by a video made by the judge's older daughter, depicting the teen being beaten by her father with a belt.
The older daughter, who was 16 years old when the video was made, is now a 23-year-old woman. She told authorities she posted the widely-viewed, 7-minute clip on YouTube so her father would own up to the abuse and help her family find reprieve.
The judge has since stated that the beating, which was seen by an estimated 6 million viewers, was an act of discipline. The daughter allegedly was being punished for illegally downloading games and music from the Internet. The teenager was not hurt, according to the judge.
In the wake of public response to the video, the judge's ex-wife recently sought and received a court order to bar the judge from seeing his youngest daughter.
The judge's attorney disputes the affidavit submitted by the ex-wife, which accuses the judge of domestic violence and drug abuse. The lawyer for the 51-year-old judge said the ex-wife's affidavit is "poorly written" conjecture that predates the couple's 2007 divorce.
The ex-wife wants the girls' father to undergo drug testing and be forced to take anger management classes before being allowed to visitation time with their 10-year-old daughter.
No charges were brought against the Aransas County judge over the content of the 7-year-old video. The district attorney did not press charges because the statute of limitations had run out.
Hopefully the decisions surrounding child custody and visitation are made in the best interests of the young girl.
Source: caller.com, "Judge William Adams fights to block restraining order," Mark Collette, Nov. 14, 2011