Ray Rice Indicted On Charge of Aggravated Assault For Allegedly Attacking Fiancée Janay Palmer


On Thursday (March 27th), a grand jury in Atlantic County indicted NFL’er Ray Rice on a charge of aggravated assault.

Initially, the Baltimore Ravens running back had faced only a charge of simple assault for allegedly hitting his fiancee, Janay Palmer, at the Revel Casino on Feb. 15. According to USA Today, prosecutors turned the case over to a grand jury, which elevated the charge to aggravated assault. He could face a sentence of three to five years in prison if convicted. A simple assault charge against Janay was also dropped.

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Ray’s attorney, Michael Diamondstein, told the outlet that he believes his client is innocent. He explained:

On behalf of Ray Rice, we vehemently deny he committed aggravated assault. We think the matter of the charges involved will not be substantiated. Ray and Janay Palmer are together. They’re in counseling and happy. Neither wish to see the other prosecuted. For some reason the State of New Jersey prosecuted. As always, we only hope the public reserves judgement until the facts are brought to light.

The Ravens issued the following statement:

This is part of the due process for Ray. We know there is more to Ray Rice than this one incident.

According to the original release from the Atlantic City Police Department, the couple were both charged with simple assault-domestic violence after they were seen on surveillance video striking each other with their hands. They were released on a summons to appear in court.

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Reportedly, they went home together after they were released by the Atlantic City Police. However, video later released by TMZ appeared to show Ray dragging Janay out of an elevator. Even more striking was that she appeared to be unconscious.

At the NFL owners meetings, Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti expressed his support for Ray, telling ESPN:

If everybody was one-strike-and-you’re-out, then we’d all be in trouble. When somebody repeats mistakes, it’s showing a lack of character to me. You can’t take what Ray’s done — the kind of locker-room influence he’s been and the kind of community commitment that he’s shown — and say he’s a different person.

Reportedly, Ray and his fiancee have been dating since 2008. The two have a daughter. Ray signed a five-year, $35 million deal with the Ravens in 2012. No additional statements have yet been released. Neither Ray or Janay have commented via social media.

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