Minnesota Vikings' Peterson reaches plea deal to avoid jail

Tue Nov 4, 2014 3:57pm EST
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By Jon Herskovitz

AUSTIN Texas (Reuters) - Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson reached a plea deal on Tuesday to charges of abusing his 4-year-old son that would see the former NFL most valuable player avoid any jail time.

Peterson, 29, pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor assault charge. He must pay a fine of $4,000 and perform community service, under the deal reached in a court outside of Houston.

He had been accused of felony injury to a child. Montgomery County Judge Kelly Case deferred any finding for two years.

"I'm just glad this is over," Peterson said on the steps of the courthouse. "I can put this behind me. And me and my family can begin to move forward."

Peterson 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.

Peterson had been charged with striking his son with a thin tree branch as a form of punishment, leaving the child bruised.

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

"We will review the matter, including the court record, and then make a determination on his status," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told Reuters in an e-mail.   Continued...

Dec 15, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) talks on the sidelines during the first quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports