Adrian Peterson pleads no contest in whipping, avoids jail

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Adrian Peterson

NFL star Adrian Peterson pleaded no contest Tuesday in a Texas court to one count of misdemeanor reckless assault, avoiding jail time for whipping one of his children.

Peterson appeared in a Montgomery County court in Conroe after prosecutors and his attorneys reached a plea deal. Judge Kelly Case agreed to the terms of the deal, in which Peterson pleaded to a lesser charge.

The Minnesota Vikings star was sentenced to two years of probation, a $4,000 fine and 80 hours of community service, half of which will be taken care of by a public service announcement.

He also will take parenting classes.

Peterson gave a brief statement outside the courthouse.

“I truly regret this incident,” he said. “I stand here and I take full responsibility for my actions. I love my son more than any one of you can even imagine.”

He didn’t address a question about when he will return to the NFL.

“We will review the matter, including the court record, and then make a determination on his status. We cannot provide a timetable,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said.

Peterson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, called the plea deal “fair and just.”

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Montgomery County District Attorney Brett Ligon said Peterson wasn’t treated any differently because he is one of the NFL’s marquee players.

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