Ravens' Ray Rice Charged in Alleged Assault on Fiancee - Tarnished Twenty
Tarnished Twenty- The FindLaw Sports Law Blog

Ravens' Ray Rice Charged in Alleged Assault on Fiancee

Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was arrested on assault charges during an altercation with his fiancee at an Atlantic City casino early Saturday.

Both Rice and his fiancee Janay Palmer, who was also arrested for assault, declined medical attention, and they were released on a summons, The Associated Press reports. The Baltimore Ravens and New Jersey prosecutors are continuing to examine Rice's case, especially in light of surveillance video obtained from the casino.

Will this alleged casino assault bench Rice?

Simple Assault May Not Be So Simple

In a case that investigators originally thought was just a "simple assault," a new video has surfaced which has caused prosecutors to re-examine Rice's actions. In the video obtained by TMZ Sports, Rice appears to be dragging an unconscious body (possibly Palmer's) out of a casino elevator.

Baltimore's WJZ showed the video to a local law professor, who said he believes the crime could be a felony if it had happened in Maryland. According to a court summons, Rice is currently only facing a criminal charge in New Jersey for simple assault as a domestic violence offense. This charge is considered a "disorderly persons offense," which in New Jersey is equivalent to a misdemeanor.

A jury could find Rice guilty of simple assault as long as it found that Rice:

  • Caused bodily injury to Palmer and
  • Acted purposely, knowingly, or recklessly in causing her injury.

The summons alleges that Palmer was knocked unconscious by Rice, which would likely be sufficient for bodily injury.

Ravens' Response

Regardless of the criminal investigation of Rice and his fiancee, Ravens managers will make their own decisions with regard to Rice's future in the field.

According to The Baltimore Sun, Rice's arrest will be reviewed by the NFL "under its personal-conduct policy." The NFL often performs its own investigation of serious incidents, and players can be punished even if there is no conviction.

Player discipline can range from "suspensions, fines, banishment from the league, a probationary period in which conditions have to be satisfied before reinstatement, or a formal reprimand," the Sun reported.

Until the Ravens and the NFL make their decisions, Rice will need to focus on his pending criminal charges. Rice was scheduled to appear in court next Tuesday, but WJZ reports that date has been canceled to allow prosecutors to review the evidence.

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