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Beatings 'regular' in US judge's home: daughter

world Updated: Nov 03, 2011 23:36 IST

AFP
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The daughter of a Texas judge who secretly caught him on video beating her as a teenager in a row over a computer game said on Thursday that corporal punishment was a regular feature in her home.

The seven-minute video of William Adams whipping Hillary Adams, now 23, with a belt at least 17 times and shouting abuse at her in 2004 has gone viral on the internet since she posted it online last week.

"It did happen regularly for a period of time, and I could tell because of the pattern that things were escalating again," Adams told the NBC news show "Today."

"So I set up my video camera on the dresser and covered the little red light with a scarf. About half an hour after I set the camera up this happened, and it was amazing that I was able to capture such a thing."

The video has touched off a public outcry in the United States, where corporal punishment -- outlawed in much of Europe -- is legal within homes in all 50 states.

It shows William Adams -- now under police investigation -- repeatedly hitting his screaming daughter having played a computer game. Her mother is also seen hitting her once.

Speaking to local television station KZTV outside his home in Rockport, Texas, Adams acknowledged it was him in the video. He added that his conduct was "not as bad as it looks on tape."

Explaining why she let seven years pass before going public with the video, Hillary Adams told "Today": "Waiting until today... has enabled me to pull away and be able to distance myself from the consequences."

Of her father, she added: "I think he's been punished enough just by seeing this go public like this and I think he really needs help and rehabilitation. We need to get him counseling or something."

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