Minnesota Vikings star Adrian Peterson avoided jail Tuesday by reaching a deal with Texas prosecutors to resolve a child abuse case that revived a national debate about corporal punishment.
Peterson was sentenced to a form of probation after pleading no contest to a misdemeanor charge of reckless assault for using a wooden switch to discipline his 4-year-old son. It was not immediately clear how the plea deal would affect his playing status or whether he might be subject to a new NFL policy that calls for a six-game suspension without pay for a first domestic violence offense.
The All-Pro running back was indicted in September on a felony charge of injury to a child after the incident earlier this year in suburban Houston. He has been on paid leave under a special exemption from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
“I stand here and I take full responsibility for my actions. I love my son more than anyone of you could even imagine and I’m anxious to continue my relationship with my child,” Peterson said outside the courthouse after accepting the plea deal.
“I’m just glad this is over,” he added. “I can put this behind me, and me and my family can continue to move forward.”
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