Adrian Peterson pleads no contest, avoids jail time

Vikings running back Adrian Peterson pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor reckless assault charge after reaching a plea agreement in his child-abuse case on Tuesday.

Initially facing a felony charge, Peterson reached the plea after it was alleged that he abused his son with a switch. Peterson claimed he was disciplining his son in a form of punishment he grew up with.

Peterson's plea was accepted, though a judge has decided to have his finding of guilt deferred for two years. He will be inelegible to appeal this decision. Since Peterson pleaded no contest, he will be admitted into the NFL's personal conduct policy. It remains to be seen whether Peterson is punished by the NFL under the general personal conduct policy or through the domestic abuse policy, which was enacted earlier this year.

Peterson is facing a $4,000 fine and will serve 80 hours of community service. Included in the community service hours will be a public service announcement that Peterson will film to combat child abuse. He will not face any jail time.

"I truly regret this incident. I stand here and take full resposibility for my actions," Peterson told reporters after his plea Tuesday. "I love my son more than anyone of you can even imagine. I'm looking forward to, and anxious, in continuing my relationship with my child. I'm glad this is over and I can put this behind me."

The NFL currently has no timetable for any decision on Peterson. But the league and the Vikings have some decisions to make. Peterson has been paid by the franchise while he's on the exempt/commissioner permission list. Peterson hasn't played a game since the season-opener this year.

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