Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is facing charges of negligent or reckless injury to a child, but his trial isn’t likely to get started until 2015, according to the Montgomery County (Texas) district attorney’s office.
“What happens now is Mr. Peterson will make a court appearance I assume sometime in the next couple weeks,” prosecutor Phil Grant said. “This is still in its preliminary stages so it will be several months probably before this case is set for trial. We would look to maybe a trial matter sometime in the next year.”
Peterson is facing charges stemming from a May incident in which he allegedly disciplined a 4-year-old son with a wooden switch. Peterson’s lawyer, Rusty Hardin, issued a statement Friday, admitting that Peterson was disciplining his child.
“This indictment follows Adrian’s full cooperation with authorities who have been looking into this matter. Adrian is a loving father who used his judgment as a parent to discipline his son,” the statement read. “He used the same kind of discipline with his child that he experienced as a child growing up in east Texas.”
The extent of that discipline could be the crux of the case.
“In the State of Texas, there is a defense to injury of a child and that is reasonable discipline,” Grant said. “Obviously, parents are entitled to discipline their child as they see fit, except when that discipline exceeds what the community would say is reasonable. So a grand jury, having indicted this case, looked at those injuries that were on that child and determined that discipline was not reasonable and did not reflect the community standards of what is reasonable.”
The crime is punishable by up to two years in jail and up to a $10,000 fine, Grant said, adding that probation is possible for those without a criminal record.
Peterson, who was at the Vikings’ Winter Park practice facility on Friday, flew to Texas Friday night after a warrant was issued for his arrest. He posted the $15,000 bond at about 1 a.m. Saturday.
Grant said the grand jury made the indictment after reviewing “a lot of evidence over a significant number of weeks.”
The incident will be investigated by the NFL under the league’s personal conduct policy, and the league can issue its own discipline regardless of Peterson’s case in the criminal trial.
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.
Peterson trial not likely until 2015
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