Adrian Peterson disputes claims

ByBen Goessling ESPN logo
Wednesday, October 8, 2014

MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson took to Twitter to defend himself in the court of public opinion on the eve of his first appearance in a Montgomery County, Texas, court to fight charges of child abuse.

Peterson disputed a number of claims in a Minneapolis Star Tribune story that ran Sunday, saying the newspaper highlighted financial discrepancies with Peterson's charity that had since been corrected and refuting a claim he used a charity credit card to pay for a 2011 party that resulted in rape allegations against the running back.

Hennepin County, Minnesota, prosecutors declined to pursue sexual assault charges against Peterson after a lengthy investigation, and Peterson said in a series of tweets Tuesday night that he never had a credit card from his charity, the All Day Foundation.

He also said his foundation had resolved the financial issues highlighted in the newspaper's story, adding that the organization had since fired an accounting firm that erroneously listed two donation recipients on the All Day Foundation's 2009 IRS filings.

ESPN reported in September that Bruce Richman, Peterson's philanthropic adviser, had been working since 2011 to clean up the All Day Foundation's finances, get Peterson more involved in the decision-making and broaden the list of charities it supports.

In his series of tweets, Peterson also referenced an ESPN story from August, in which he admitted he had been promiscuous in the past and said he was working to change his ways, and he criticized the Star Tribune for focusing on the children he had fathered out of wedlock before getting married in July.

Peterson, who is receiving his $11.75 million salary for the 2014 season, is currently barred from all team activities until his case is resolved. He will make his first appearance in a Conroe, Texas, courthouse Wednesday morning to fight allegations that he went too far while using a switch to discipline his son earlier this year.

Mary Flood, a spokeswoman for Peterson attorney Rusty Hardin, wrote in an email to ESPN on Tuesday that Peterson would "very definitely" plead not guilty to the charges if asked to enter a plea Wednesday.

Flood declined to predict when a trial might take place, although she said she hoped a trial date would be discussed Wednesday. Montgomery County first assistant district attorney Phil Grant previously said it could be nine months to a year before a trial would begin.

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