This is an acceptable response when asked about:
- Why you stormed out of the house after an argument
- Why you yelled a profanity at a stranger that ran into you accidentally
- Why you kicked the garbage can over
- Why you didn't talk to your brother at Thanksgiving
- Why you locked the dog out of the house for half an hour after it pooped on the floor
But, it's not acceptable when asked about why you wailed on your child with "the big" belt for several minutes while cussing like a sailor. Judge William Adams crossed the line from corporal punishment of his daughter to assault.
What is that line?
Well, I'm not sure there is a clear definition, but there are several clues.
- He used a weapon. "The big one"...that is, a belt about 2 1/2 inches wide.
- The weapon was specifically chosen for infliction of pain. Again, "the big one."
- He reinitiates the punishment after it had apparently ceased, returning with yet another weapon--a slightly narrower, but stiffer belt--saying "I never got my lickin' on ya."
- He views this as an activity he is entitled to, not that he feels he must do. "I never got my lickin' on ya." This wasn't punishment, it was something he wanted to do.
- Despite the fact that she is a girl of 16 or 17 years old (and he is an adult man) and the fact that she suffers from ataxic cerebral palsy (causing her to, at the very least, have decreased motor function, maybe decreased strength), he nearly knocks himself over as he swings his belt against her.
- He realizes that he's beating her and even says so. "I'll beat you in your fucking face." "I'll beat you into submission."
- Probably the most clear indication that he crossed the line, is that the police can't charge him with injury to a child or assault because the beating took place too long ago. Had it been within the statute of limitations, he could have been charged. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/nationnow/2011/11/texas-judge-daughter-beating.html
What is disturbing is that this judge, a man who presides over court cases involving child abuse, has said that he did nothing wrong and that it wasn't as bad as it looked. (Oh, yes, it does look bad, doesn't it.) Clearly, this wasn't the first time this had happened. Why else would a teenage girl have the foresight to start a camera rolling beforehand?
It would be bad enough that this man beat a child. However, while sickening, the fact that he won't face charges because of a statute of limitations prevents it.
The most horrifying part, and the part that one must applaud his daughter for exposing, is that this man's job was to recognize child abuse for what it is and to make legal decisions based on evidence of abuse and he was unable to either recognize abuse or he simply didn't care.
How many children went through his court, having been battered and abused, only to be placed back into the hands of the vicious abusers with his blessing?