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Past Evidence of Abuse Could Hurt Adrian Peterson

Though he continues to maintain his innocence, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who was indicted on charges of felony child abuse in Texas last week, one past incident of excessive violence against another son has already come back to haunt him.

According to KHOU Houston, members of their investigative team have obtained photos and text messages relating to an incident with a different son that happened last June. The information was provided by the boy’s mother, who said that the photos, which reveal a scar over his right eye, were taken weeks later.

Text messages exchanged, per the report:

Mother: “What happened to his head?”

Peterson: “Hit his head on the Carseat.”

Mother: “How does that happen, he get a whoopin in the car.”

Peterson: “Yep.”

Mother: “Why?”

Peterson: “I felt bad. But he did it his self.”

The boy’s mother asked Peterson pointblank, “What did you hit him with?”, but he was evasive in his response. He did respond later with, “Be still n take ya whooping he would have saved the scare (scar). He aight (all right).”

Though he will likely be back on the field for the Vikings this week, it’s a very significant blow to Peterson’s claims of innocence. No complaints were made or charges filed in the June incident, but evidence can be used against him to establish a pattern in court.

Also likely to hurt Peterson is the fact that he still doesn’t seem to believe he did anything wrong. In both cases he admitted the abuse to the children’s mothers and expressed some superficial level of remorse, but he continues to engage in the same behavior—delivering stunningly violent beatings for  minor offenses.

For the charges he’s been indicted for, Peterson essentially whipped his four-year-old son repeatedly for pushing another child off a video game they were playing. The lashes were so brutal that they looked fresh more than a week later when photos were finally taken.

He also threatened to punch the child in the face if he reported the abuse.

In this latest instance, Peterson beat his son—who is young enough to still require a carseat—so severely that it left him with a scar. The offense? Apparently he cussed at another child in the car.

Peterson continues to find defenders among fans and media alike, who reason that whippings and violent beatings are a normal part of childhood. It’s exposed a very dark reality and underlying culture of violence that begins almost at birth in this country.

And for those of us lucky enough to have been blessed with parents who didn’t treat us like their own personal punching bags, it’s a very hard reality to swallow.

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