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Adrian Peterson’s discipline of boy ‘exceeds’ standards: D.A. official

All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson crossed the line when he struck his child with what has been described as a “switch” this year, a Texas prosecutor said.

Speaking at a news conference Saturday, Phil Grant of the Montgomery County district attorney’s office said the Minnesota Vikings star exceeded reasonable standards in punishing his 4-year-old son, leaving the child with cuts on his thighs and hand and bruises on his lower back and buttocks.

“The mental state that’s reflected in the indictment is that he did so with criminal negligence, or recklessness,” Grant said.

Peterson, the NFL’s most valuable player in 2012, surrendered to police early Saturday morning and was released from jail on $15,000 bail. He has been deactivated for the Vikings’ home game Sunday against New England.

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A Texas grand jury returned an indictment against Peterson, charging him with causing an injury to a child. The incident took place May 18, according to a copy of the indictment, which describes the switch Peterson used as a “branch.”

Peterson could face up to two years in prison if convicted, according to Grant, who said probation was also an option. Peterson probably will appear in court “within a few weeks,” the prosecutor said.

“Obviously, parents are entitled to discipline their children as they see fit, except when that discipline exceeds what the community would say is reasonable,” Grant said, according to the Associated Press. “The grand jury looked at the injuries to this child and determined that discipline was not reasonable and did not reflect community standards of what was reasonable discipline.”

The abuse allegations surfaced after the child, who spent part of the off-season with Peterson in Texas, returned home to his mother in Minnesota. The bruises and cuts were discovered during a routine doctor’s visit.

Whereas many people reacted to the Peterson news with shock and anger, Atlanta Falcons receiver Roddy White caused a stir on Twitter when he lamented how it might affect his fantasy football team.

White tweeted: “I’m probably going to lose my fantasy football matchup this week cause all day [Peterson] can’t play Sunday for disciplining his child. Jesus help us.”

Shortly thereafter, White deleted the tweet and apologized, saying he “should not have made light of a very serious situation.”

Times staff writer Sam Farmer contributed to this report.

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