US & Canada

NFL star Adrian Peterson admits reckless assault on son

Adrian Peterson arrives at the courthouse with his wife Ashley Brown Peterson, 4 Nov Image copyright AP
Image caption Adrian Peterson arrives at the courthouse with his wife Ashley Brown Peterson

NFL running back Adrian Peterson has pleaded no contest to the misdemeanour charge of recklessly assaulting his four-year-old son.

The Minnesota Vikings star will avoid a jail sentence after reaching a plea agreement with a court in Texas.

Peterson, who used a wooden implement to discipline his son in the Texas town of Spring in May, was put on probation and fined $4,000 (£2,500).

The player has been on paid leave pending resolution of the case.

He had been facing a possible two years in prison but the judge in Conroe, 40 miles (64 km) north of Houston, accepted the plea agreement.

Peterson will also do 80 hours of community service.

'Loving father'

The footballer was said to have punished his son after the boy pushed another of his children off a motorbike video game.

The "whooping" - how Peterson allegedly referred to the incident in a police interview - resulted in cuts and bruises to the boy's back, buttocks, legs and scrotum, local media reported.

Peterson's defence attorney Rusty Hardin earlier described his client as a "loving father" who had "used the same kind of discipline with his child that he experienced as a child growing up in east Texas".

"It is important to remember that Adrian never intended to harm his son and deeply regrets the unintentional injury," he said.

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