Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson will plead not guilty to child abuse charges in Texas on Wednesday. Peterson was indicted last month after he admitted to hitting his four-year-old son with a tree branch as discipline.
Peterson was indicted last month after he admitted to hitting his four-year-old son with a tree branch as discipline. The Vikings placed Peterson on the Exempt/Commissioner's list and said they will let the legal process unfold before he returns to team activities. He will receive his full $11.75 million salary while he is inactive.
Mary Flood, the spokesperson for Peterson's attorney Rusty Hardin, told Goessling in an email that Peterson will plead not guilty.
"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."
Flood also said she is hopeful a date will be set for the trial to begin. Goessling reports Montgomery County first assistant DA Phil Grant said it usually takes between nine and 12 months for a trial to begin in these cases.
"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 abuse charges carry a potential sentence of six months to two years in jail. The NFL increased its punishment for first-time domestic violence offenders to six games following the controversial handling of the Ray Rice case.
- Paul Palladino