Tarnished Twenty- The FindLaw Sports Law Blog

Can 'New' Ray Rice Video Lead to More Charges?

The Baltimore Ravens terminated Ray Rice's contract Monday, just hours after a newly released video showed him slugging his then-fiancee in an elevator.

The video appears to shed new light on an incident in February, when Rice was caught on video dragging his unconscious fiancee out of an elevator in an Atlantic City casino. The new video shows Rice and Janay Palmer (now Janay Rice) inside the elevator, with Rice throwing a punch at his future wife, reports the Baltimore Sun.

Many fans may be wondering, is there a way for Rice to face (more) charges for allegedly smacking around his current wife?

Rice Charged in February for Assault

The video showing Rice punching Palmer in the elevator was leaked by TMZ, and it may have cost him his career with the Ravens.

The alleged attack has already led to criminal charges. Rice was originally charged with simple assault, a misdemeanor, but prosecutors took another look at the case after TMZ released a video of the Ravens player pulling Palmer out of the elevator by her hair.

The Sun reports that Rice was eventually charged with felony aggravated assault in the elevator case. Aggravated assault charges differ from simple assault by alleging that a suspect seriously injured a victim, used a deadly weapon, or that the victim was in a certain profession or especially vulnerable. Prosecutors may have felt that the alleged assault was especially heinous enough to deserve the heightened charge.

But What About Now?

Rice would be facing trial for aggravated assault... if he hadn't entered into a pretrial diversion program in May.

The Atlantic County, New Jersey, Prosecutor's Office had allowed Rice to enter into "pre-trial intervention," but after Monday's video revelations, New Jersey Assemblywoman Gabriela Mosquera is questioning that decision. According to NJ.com, the assemblywoman said would like to see "an honest examination" of whether the pre-trial intervention program should have stricter guidelines.

It's not likely that Rice will be yanked from his pretrial diversion program now that another offending video has surfaced. Prosecutors likely considered various factors in allowing Rice into the program, and it may be too late to change their minds. The pre-trial intervention program still requires Rice to undergo counseling, and upon successful completion, "his arrest record would be expunged," reports NJ.com.

Whether prosecutors may choose to try another avenue to keep Rice in criminal court (e.g., domestic violence charges) remains unseen.

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