The tentative trial date for Minnesota Vikings' running back Adrian Peterson is in place. Unless something changes, Peterson will appear in court on December 1 to defend him against felony child abuse charges brought against him. Peterson’s attorney reported yesterday that the Viking’s star will plead not guilty to the charges.
Peterson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, spoke to the media after the hearing and said he was “incredibly proud” to represent Peterson.
"Look, this is a really good man that I am incredibly proud to represent," Hardin said. "This is a case about parenting decisions and whether something unfortunate happened when a parenting decision was made by a man who believes strongly and loves his children very much."
Hardin asked the public not to “rush to judgment” with Peterson. Much of the public has already done just that after photos surfaced of Peterson’s four-year-old son covered cuts and bruises after being punished by his father.
"I would ask all of you to be please be tolerant to the fact that Adrian is chomping at the bit to publicly talk and to publicly defend himself, and the only reason he hasn't is us insisting and jumping up and down and saying, 'The solution is for you to get a speedy trial and resolve all this in a courtroom,’” Hardin said.
There is no question of whether Peterson whipped his four-year-old son with a switch earlier this year. He did. The question is whether the wounds inflicted on the child constitute signifigant injuries. Corporal punishment is legal in Texas, but parents are required to be controlled in their punishments and not harm children. Peterson will be claiming the injuries his son suffered after the punishment were unintentional.
If convicted on the felony child abuse charge, Peterson faces up to two years in state prison. Peterson is barred from playing football until the legal process concludes.