American parents are generally left to discipline any children they have as they deem necessary or fit. However, in some situations, a parent may be accused of straying beyond reasonable discipline and subsequently face state crime charges for the alleged incident. In Texas, NFL player Adrian Peterson faces a charge of injury to a child and will soon be headed to court.
Apparently, Texas may be more lenient than other states when it comes to spanking a child. However, that didn’t stop Peterson from being charged for an incident in which he apparently disciplined his son with a switch, which is simply a slim tree branch that has had its leaves stripped off. Peterson claims that he himself was disciplined in a similar manner as a child.
The prosecution alleges that Peterson’s 4-year-old son suffered severe welts after being struck with the switch. It is believed that the discipline resulted from a fight about a video game that his son had become involved in. It was also initially reported that Peterson stuffed leaves into his son’s mouth during the discipline, although it is unclear whether that actually occurred. The boy’s mother took him to the doctor following a visit with Peterson in Texas, which ultimately led to the doctor notifying Texas police of the suspected abuse.
In addition to his professional football career being impacted, Peterson could possibly face a fine of up to $10,000 and a two-year jail sentence in Texas if convicted on state crime charges. Although several NFL players have been in the news for various legal issues lately, it is imperative that emotions not run high and that Peterson’s presumption of innocence and rights be maintained and protected throughout the trial court proceedings. Although Peterson has neither confirmed nor denied the allegations against him, this is no indication of guilt as the burden of proof does not lie with him, but with the prosecution, who must be able to prove that every element of the charge is both viable and true.
Source: startribune.com, “Peterson’s NFL future in doubt as charges unfold“, Mike Kaszuba and Rochelle Olson, Sept. 14, 2014