The Aransas County judge who gained international attention last year after a video surfaced showing him beating his then 16-year old daughter returned to the bench on Wednesday.
It was just last week that the Texas Supreme Court lifted the suspension of Judge William Adams, clearing the way for him to return to the bench.
The story broke a year ago, and caused an absolute frenzy. One year later, Adams did return to his bench after being suspended by the State Supreme Court and publicly warned by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct.
There was beefed up security at the courthouse on Wednesday, and cameras were not allowed inside; not even in the halls. Judge Adams had 9 a.m. proceedings listed on his docket, and nothing scheduled for the afternoon. He never came out to drive away in the white pickup truck parked in his parking spot.
When Kiii News reporters went to Adams' home to get a comment from him, he was nowhere to be found. A neighbor said the judge had skipped out of town to head to his ranch.
Meanwhile, opinions in town vary on whether it is appropriate for Adams to be back on the bench.
"No, I don't think it's appropriate at all," said a Rockport Resident named Beverly. "Because of what he did. And it's been nationally televised. It brought shame on Rockport, and I just think it was wrong."
"I've known Judge Adams to be a very good, fair man, with a lot of integrity, and I think he can handle any kind of cases," said Ray Owens, a Fulton resident. "It wasn't much of a beating. If you had got raised back in the 50s when I got raised, you'd know it wasn't much of a beating. Looked like a little pity-pat thing."
It was almost exactly one year ago that the infamous video began making headlines. The video was viewed millions of times after being posted on YouTube by the judge's daughter Hillary, who was 23 years old at the time she posted it, but 16 years old at the time the video was recorded in 2004.
Hillary claimed her father punished her for acquiring video games online without paying for them. Judge Adams claimed that Hillary posted the video online seven years after the fact because she was upset that she had been cut off financially.
Just days ago, Hillary said in a phone interview that, "Our law system is actually allowing a child abuser to judge child abusers. They're allowing it to continue in our family law system, after being provided with video evidence he's not fit to be near the family law system. It is sick and disgusting."
Kiii News has continued to reach out to Judge Adams to no avail, but if he ever wants to talk, we are eager to hear his side of the story directly from him.