(HOUSTON) — Football star Adrian Peterson is headed to a Texas court Wednesday to face charges that he abused his 4-year-old son.
Peterson will plead not guilty to charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child, his lawyer told ABC News. The former MVP is accused of allegedly hitting his 4-year-old son with a switch, leaving welts and bruises. He is scheduled to appear in a Montgomery County, Texas, courtroom Wednesday morning.
The six-time Pro Bowl running back remains benched from the Minnesota Vikings, on the commissioner’s exempt list while the case is pending.
ESPN legal analyst Roger Cossack said Peterson, 29, may be looking for a quick trial date.
“That trial date is expected to be somewhere six to twelve months from now,” Cossack said. “If he is convicted, combining his age and the seriousness of what happened, his career could be in jeopardy.”
Peterson could face between six months and two years in prison, if convicted.
Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer remained cautious about Peterson’s chances to return to the team.
“If things get resolved and it’s a good thing, then the more power to him,” Zimmer said Tuesday. “We will worry about that when the time comes.”
Despite the controversy, Peterson is still collecting $11.75 million in salary from the Vikings this season.
Peterson maintained his innocence in a Sept. 15 statement through his lawyer, saying, “I never ever intended to harm my son. I will say the same thing once I have my day in court.”
Peterson has also defended himself in a series of Twitter posts, using social media to dispute a recent report alleging that his charity misused tens of thousands of dollars.
“I guess never let the truth get in the way of a good story,” he wrote.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
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