A new report claims that Adrian Peterson, who is currently facing felony charges for allegedly abusing his 4-year-old son, was also accused of beating another one of his sons (with a different woman) in a separate incident last year.
KHOU-TV in Houston shared photos of the 4-year-old with head injuries, wounds they say he suffered after Peterson struck the child.
The child’s mother filed a report about the incident in 2013 with Child Protective Services, but Peterson was not charged. Peterson’s lawyer Rusty Hardin said in a statement that the accusations are unfounded.
The new report surfaced on the heels of the Minnesota Vikings announcement that they were reinstating Peterson after benching the running back over the weekend while they gathered more information about the charges.
“I understand that this is a very difficult thing to handle,” said Vikings general manager Rick Spielman to reporters Monday about Peterson’s charges. “But we also feel strongly as an organization that this is disciplining a child. Whether it’s an abusive situation or not, or whether he went too far disciplining, we feel very strongly that that is the court’s decision to make.”
Peterson didn’t speak to the press on Monday, but he did release a statement expressing his remorse over hurting his son.
“No one can understand the hurt that I feel for my son and for the harm I caused him,” said Peterson. “My goal is always to teach my son right from wrong and that’s what I tried to do that day.”
Read Peterson’s full statement below:
“My attorney has asked me not to discuss the facts of my pending case. I hope you can respect that request and help me honor it. I very much want the public to hear from me but I understand that it is not appropriate to talk about the facts in detail at this time. Nevertheless, I want everyone to understand how sorry I feel about the hurt I have brought to my child. I never wanted to be a distraction to the Vikings organization, the Minnesota community or to my teammates. I never imagined being in a position where the world is judging my parenting skills or calling me a child abuser because of the discipline I administered to my son.
I voluntarily appeared before the grand jury several weeks ago to answer any and all questions they had. Before my grand jury appearance, I was interviewed by two different police agencies without an attorney. In each of these interviews I have said the same thing, and that is that I never ever intended to harm my son. I will say the same thing once I have my day in court.
I have to live with the fact that when I disciplined my son the way I was disciplined as a child, I caused an injury that I never intended or thought would happen. I know that many people disagree with the way I disciplined my child. I also understand after meeting with a psychologist that there are other alternative ways of disciplining a child that may be more appropriate. I have learned a lot and have had to reevaluate how I discipline my son going forward. But deep in my heart I have always believed I could have been one of those kids that was lost in the streets without the discipline instilled in me by my parents and other relatives. I have always believed that the way my parents disciplined me has a great deal to do with the success I have enjoyed as a man. I love my son and I will continue to become a better parent and learn from any mistakes I ever make.
I am not a perfect son. I am not a perfect husband. I am not a perfect parent, but I am, without a doubt, not a child abuser. I am someone that disciplined his child and did not intend to cause him any injury. No one can understand the hurt that I feel for my son and for the harm I caused him. My goal is always to teach my son right from wrong and that’s what I tried to do that day.
I accept the fact that people feel very strongly about this issue and what they think about my conduct. Regardless of what others think, however, I love my son very much and I will continue to try to become a better father and person.”