Police have launched an investigation into a US family law judge whose daughter posted a YouTube video of him savagely beating her with a belt during a tirade several years ago when she was a teenager.
The nearly eight-minute video, which had been viewed more than 600,000 times since it was uploaded last week, shows Texas County Court-at-Law Judge William Adams lashing his then 16-year-old daughter in the legs more than a dozen times and growing increasingly irate while she screams and refuses to turn over on a bed to be beaten.
"Lay down or I'll spank you in your (expletive) face," Mr Adams screams. His daughter, Hillary, wails and pleads for him to stop.
Tim Jayroe, police chief in William Adams's home town of Rockport, a Gulf Coast community south of Houston, said he has asked the Texas Rangers to assist in investigating whether the video shows anything criminal happened.
He said his department began investigating after receiving phone calls from several concerned people who watched the secretly recorded 2004 video.
No one answered the door at William Adams's home, and repeated calls to his office rang unanswered.
However, the 51-year-old judge told Corpus Christi television station KZTV that the video "looks worse than it is", and that he does not expect to be disciplined or punished because of it.
"In my mind, I haven't done anything wrong other than discipline my child after she was caught stealing," Mr Adams said. "And I did lose my temper, but I've since apologised."