Texas judge caught beating his daughter won't face charges, police say

Judge William Adams
Aransas County Court
Judge William Adams
Aransas County Court

(CBS/AP) McALLEN, Texas - The Texas family law judge whose daughter secretly videotaped him savagely beating her in 2004 won't face criminal charges because too much time has elapsed, police said.

Aransas County Court-at-Law Judge William Adams likely would have been charged with causing injury to a child or other assault-related offenses for the beating of his then-16-year-old daughter, but the five-year statutes of limitations expired, Rockport Police Chief Tim Jayroe said Thursday.

"We believe that there was a criminal offense involved and that there was substantial evidence to indicate that and under normal circumstances ... a charge could have been made," Jayroe said. He said police would discuss the case with federal prosecutors even though he doesn't believe federal charges would apply.

Adams, who presides over child abuse cases, is still being investigated by the state's judicial conduct commission and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, which on Thursday requested that he be removed from its cases until the investigation concludes.

In his written statement Thursday,  Adams, said he would "respond" to all investigations. As Aransas County's top judge, he has dealt with at least 349 family law cases in the past year alone, nearly 50 of which involved state caseworkers seeking to determine whether parents were fit to raise their children.

County officials confirmed that Adams will not hear cases related to Child Protective Services for at least the next two weeks.

Meanwhile, the top administrator in Aransas County cast doubt on whether Adams could credibly return to the bench at all.

"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."

If 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.