Minnesota Vikings' Peterson heads to court amid report of plea deal

Reuters News
Posted: Nov 04, 2014 12:12 PM

AUSTIN Texas (Reuters) - Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is scheduled to appear in a Texas court on Tuesday to face a child abuse charge, amid a media report that he has reached a plea deal that would allow him to avoid jail time.

Peterson has been charged with abusing his 4-year-old child by striking him with a thin tree branch as a form of punishment. He is among a handful of National Football League players recently charged, convicted or implicated with domestic abuse in a scandal that has rocked the nation's most popular sport.

Under the deal reported by NBC's Profootballtalk.com, Peterson will plead no contest to one count of misdemeanor reckless assault, which will not include reference to domestic violence or violence to a minor.

In exchange, he will be placed on probation and perform 80 hours of community service, the website reported, citing a legal source.

Any punishment by the NFL is separate from any possible deal with local prosecutors.

Peterson is due to appear in a court outside of Houston on Tuesday afternoon. Peterson's lawyer declined to comment on the report.

A former NFL most valuable player, Peterson's combination of speed and power has made him one of the league's top running backs.

He rushed for 2,097 yards in his MVP year of 2012, an eye-popping 6.0 yards per carry, and finished just eight yards shy of Eric Dickerson's all-time single-season record set in 1984.

Peterson said as a child growing up in Texas, where corporal punishment is legal, that he was disciplined in the same manner that he used to punish his son.

(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Susan Heavey)