Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge or reckless assault on Nov. 4 to avoid jail time. A Texas court fined Peterson $4,000 and ordered him to render 80 hours of community service.
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is not going to jail.
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Peterson entered a no contest plea to a misdemeanor charge of reckless assault on Nov. 4 to avoid jail time, per The Minneapolis Star Tribune:
"Minnesota Vikings MVP Adrian Peterson pleaded no contest Tuesday in a Texas courtroom to misdemeanor reckless assault for whipping his young son with a tree branch this spring, an accusation that has kept him off the playing field for weeks.
"Peterson, who has faced felony child abuse charges before the plea deal, appeared in a Montgomery County courtroom with his wife, mother and attorneys for what began as a pretrial bond revocation hearing. Prosecutors had intended to try to revoke his $15,000 bond because he admitted to smoking marijuana late last month.
"In exchange for the plea, which is not admission of guilt, Peterson will be on probation for two years, fined $4,000 plus court expenses, and must perform 80 hours of community service, half of which would be covered by a public service announcement.
"Peterson's entire time entering the plea took less than 10 minutes.
"The running back, dressed in a dark suit and criss-cross-patterned tie over a white shirt, sat calmly awaiting the proceedings, occasionally speaking softly with his wife.
"Before his case was brought before the court, two of Peterson's attorneys had him sign something. A few minutes later, defense attorney Rusty Hardin escorted him to the jury room as his name came and went during the judge's callout to the many defendants crowded in the courtroom, some of them wearing shackles and wide-stripped prison outfits. They returned to the courtroom after several minutes.
"The 29-year-old star running back and East Texas native is accused of causing felony injury to his 4-year-old son when the boy was visiting him in Texas in May. Peterson admitted to whipping the boy with a switch, leaving red marks and wounds on his thighs, buttocks and back. He has told investigators he was using the same discipline that was used on him as a boy, not committing a crime.
"Peterson is on the NFL commissioner's exempt list and hasn't played for the Vikings since the second regular season game. He is still receiving his $11.7 million salary.
"His case has taken many twists and turns. Late last month, retired Texas judge Jeff Walker swept aside an early potential block to a trial by declining the prosecution's request to take Judge Kelly Case off the case.
"Montgomery County prosecutors had claimed Case was biased against their office, while Hardin wanted to keep him on the case.
"Walker agreed with the defense, saying prosecutors failed to meet the requirements necessary to remove the judge, who was under fire for calling attorneys on both sides 'media whores.'"
With this, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport (via NFL.com's Dan Hanzus) reported on Nov. 4 that the Vikings are open to the possibility of Peterson -- the 2012 NFL MVP -- returning this season:
"Adrian Peterson resolved his legal issues on Tuesday. Will that clear the way for a return to the field for the Minnesota Vikings running back?
"NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday on NFL Network that it appears the Vikings have left the door open for Peterson to come back to the team. Rapoport asked multiple officials within the organization if Peterson is done as a Viking and no one ruled out a return for the former NFL MVP. Rapoport has been given the indication that every option is on the table.
"The NFL Players Association also continues to monitor the situation. Rapoport has been told the union will fight on Peterson's behalf if the NFL attempts to keep the running back off the field for the duration of the 2014 season. Peterson missed eight games as his legal proceedings played out, though he's been on paid leave while stashed on the little-used Exempt/Commissioner's Permission List.
"The Vikings are on their bye week and won't play their next game until Nov. 16 against the Chicago Bears. It's possible Peterson could be in uniform for that game. Then again, Rapoport reported Monday that a plea deal would not ensure an immediate return to action.
"At this point, everyone involved is in a holding pattern until NFL commissioner Roger Goodell makes his next move. The A.P. saga has turned into the waiting game."
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