Joseph Patterson, 27, of Sioux Falls, South Dakota was charged with aggravated battery of an infant and aggravated assault on the morning of Oct. 11, 2013, in relation to the beating of a 2-year-old boy who was reportedly the son of Minnesota Vikings Adrian Peterson, according to CBS News and CNN.
CNN reports that boy has died and due his death, additional charges against Patterson, who was reportedly dating the child’s mother, may be filed.
According to CBS, police responded to a call from an apartment in Sioux Falls on Oct. 9 and found the child unresponsive when they arrived on scene.
The toddler was transported to a local hospital where doctors found injuries consistent with abuse, reports CBS affiliate KELO.
CBS reports that the Vikings said on Oct. 10 that Peterson had been excused from practice to deal with a personal matter in South Dakota.
After returning to practice on Friday, Peterson spoke to the press, saying, “This is a private matter, and I ask you all to please respect my privacy and not ask at all about the situation at hand.”
Shortly after news of the boy’s death emerged, Peterson took to his Twitter page and thanked his family, fans, and the NFL’s “fraternity of brothers” for their support in the matter, according to CNN.
CNN reports that if Joseph Patterson is convicted of the charges he now faces, he could be sentenced to up to 40 years behind bars and required to pay a fine of $80,000.