Adrian Peterson steps in front of a judge tomorrow; his future is ever so cloudy.
ESPN is reporting that Peterson apparently will not consider pleading guilty to child abuse charges in an attempt to expedite his return to the playing field.
Mary Flood, the spokesperson for Peterson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, told ESPN.com in an email that Peterson is committed to pleading not guilty to charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child, stemming from an incident where he used a switch, or small tree branch, to discipline his son during a visit to his home in Texas earlier this year.
Peterson’s initial appearance in Montgomery County, Texas, is scheduled for 10 a.m. ET on Wednesday.
“If the court asks for a plea tomorrow [and we do expect that to happen], it will very definitely be NOT guilty,” Flood wrote in an email to ESPN.com on Tuesday. “We hope that a trial date is also discussed but don’t yet know how the court’s docket is looking.”
Unless Hardin is able to secure a quick trial date and convince a jury that Peterson did not violate Texas’ corporal punishment law while disciplining his son, it likely means the running back’s 2014 season is over.
“I hope we learn more tomorrow,” Flood said, “but it’s possible that we won’t get a date tomorrow and we’ll just get the beginnings of discussions about a date.”
The Daily Mail is reporting Peterson took part of the time preparing for his hearing by taking to Twitter to express his anger at those who believe the charges.
The Minnesota Vikings running back wrote to his one million followers: ‘It’s SAD how people these days will believe anything reported by media sources that don’t take the time to be GREAT.’
Despite the timing of Peterson’s message — just hours after the report accused his charity of improperly using tens of thousands dollars worth of funds — he later added: ‘Just in-general!’
Peterson, who has been sidelined for most of this season, allegedly left his son with visible wounds to his thighs, backside and genitals following the so-called disciplinary beating at his Texas home in May.
Peterson, the Vikings highest-paid player with a six-year, $86million contract, turned himself into police in his hometown of Spring, Texas, on Saturday after detectives issued an arrest warrant.
Although Peterson has admitted to whipping his son, his attorney claims he was only using the discipline he himself had received as a child growing up in East Texas.
Following the felony abuse charges, the player apologized but defended his actions, saying: ‘I am not a perfect parent, but I am, without a doubt, not a child abuser.
“I am someone that disciplined his child and did not intend to cause him any injury.”
[Image courtesy of Eurweb]