The visitation rights of a Texas family law judge have been suspended with the court issue of a temporary restraining order against the Aransas County legal official. The restraining order follows a claim by the judge's ex-wife that the couple's 10-year-old daughter is not safe with her father.
The couple divorced four years ago after more than two decades of marriage and shared child custody of their two girls. The eldest daughter recently posted a video on YouTube showing her father using a belt to beat her for eight minutes.
Overwhelmingly negative responses from the public apparently drove the judge's ex-wife to seek court permission to have limited contact with the youngest child. The restraining order forbids the judge from seeing the girl without permission from his ex. A state district judge will decide later this month if a request from the judge's ex-wife for supervised or denied visitations is valid.
The video clip posted by the elder daughter, who is now 23-years-old, prompted her mother to file an affidavit saying the couple's long marriage was "dysfunctional" and the post-divorce life has been filled with conflict.
The video was taken in 2004, before the couple's divorce and when the older daughter was still a teenager.
No charges have been brought against the family law judge over the content of the YouTube video. A state judicial conduct commission is investigating and considering disciplinary measures.
No accusations have been made or evidence brought to link the judge to any physical harm done to the younger daughter.
Source: Associated Press, "Texas Judge Has Visits With Daughter Limited," Nov. 12, 2011