Mar 28 2014, 3:11am CDT | by Poch de la Rosa
"Running back Ray Rice has been indicted on a charge of aggravated assault by prosecutors in Atlantic City, N.J.
"The grand jury indictment was announced Thursday. If Rice is convicted, he could face three to five years in prison.
"The indictment is stemming from an incident that occurred in the Revel Casino on Feb. 15, when Rice was involved in an altercation with his fiancee Janay Palmer. Rice and Palmer were both initially arrested on charges of simple assault, but prosecutors increased Rice's charge to aggravated assault and dismissed the charges on Palmer.
"'This is part of the due process for Ray. We know there is more to Ray Rice than this one incident.'
"The Ravens have stood behind Rice since the incident last month, and owner Steve Bisciotti voiced his support of him during an interview Monday at the owners meetings before the indictment was announced.
"They have stood behind Rice as a person based on his historic character, but don't condone his actions."
Bisciotti told Downing he is confident that Rice will be back with the Ravens sooner than later.
"He'll be back with the team. He'll definitely be back. I know how terribly disappointing it is to Ray and his fiancee, how embarrassing it is for them. I have to have compassion toward him."
The Baltimore Sun uploaded a copy of the indictment, which addresses Rice using his real name "Raymell M. Rice":
"RAYMELL M. RICE did attempt to cause significant bodily injury to JANAY PALMER, and/or did purosely or knowingly cause significant bodily injury to JANAY PALMER and/or under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life, did recklessly cause significant bodily injury to JANAY PALMER; contrary to the provisions of N.J.S. 2C: 12-1b(7), and against the peace of this State, the government and dignity of the same."
Diamondstein also said Rice and Palmer are still together and are undergoing counseling, per Fenton.
"They're together. They're in counseling.
"Ray Rice is not going to put the blame on Janay Palmer. The state chose only to prosecute Ray Rice, and we ask that the public reserve judgment until all the facts come out."
Downing adds the NFL may end up suspending Rice but commissioner Roger Goodell hasn't made a decision yet.
The NFL commissioner quipped,"Yes, and I don't know on the second part. We'll let the facts dictate that."
The 27-year-old Rice is entering his seventh NFL season and has amassed 6,180 rushing yards and 37 touchdowns on 1,430 carries, per ESPN stats.
Poch de la Rosa
Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.
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