Judge Michael Donio told ABC News that he would sign Rice’s dismissal order on Thursday after Rice completed his pre-trial diversion program.
Rice was originally charged with third-degree aggravated assault for hitting his then-fiancée Janay Palmer in an Atlantic City casino elevator in February 2014. He was accepted into the diversion program for first-time offenders that allows charges to be dismissed upon completion.
Rice was seen on video, obtained by TMZ.com, in the elevator striking his now-wife and knocking her unconscious. Previous video had shown Rice dragging her out of the elevator.
Rice was initially suspended by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for two games for the incident, prompting widespread criticism. After the second videotape surfaced, the NFL suspended Rice indefinitely and the Ravens terminated his contract. Rice won his appeal of the ban and was reinstated to the league after a judge ruled that Rice did not mislead Goodell when he spoke to him about the incident before the 2014 season. Rice later settled a wrongful termination grievance against the Ravens.
Goodell has since revamped the league's policy for domestic violence offenders, making it a six-game suspension for a first offense for violations of the Personal Conduct Policy regarding assault, battery, domestic violence or sexual assault that involve physical force.
Rice, a three-time Pro Bowler who has rushed for 6,180 yards and 37 touchdowns in six NFL seasons, has yet to sign with a team.
- Scooby Axson