Ray Rice could face three to five years in prison if convicted on charges of aggravated assault. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Ray Rice could be facing three to five years in prison after he was indicted on aggravated assault charges in Atlantic City, N.J., on Thursday for a physical altercation with fiancée Janay Palmer in February.
Rice initially faced a charge of simple assault after allegedly striking Palmer unconscious inside an elevator at Revel Casino just before 3 a.m. on Feb. 15. But a grand jury returned with a more serious charge of aggravated assault; Palmer was also charged with assault, but prosecutors dismissed those charges.
Michael Diamondstein, an attorney for Rice, said neither his client nor Palmer wants to move forward with the case.
“On behalf of Ray Rice, we vehemently deny that Mr. Rice committed an aggravated assault,” Diamondstein told Lynda Cohen ofThe Press of Atlantic City. “Both Mr. Rice and Miss Palmer are together, they are happy and they’re in counseling.”
A video of the incident obtained by TMZ showed Rice dragging Palmer by her arms out of an elevator and lying her on the floor. Diamondstein said the footage is "authentic but incomplete."
Rice, 27, signed a five-year, $35 million contract with the Ravens before the 2012 season. Last year, he ran for 660 yards -- his lowest total since his rookie year -- on a career-low 3.1 yards per carry with four touchdowns.
Ravens owner Steve Biscotti called Rice's arrest "embarrassing and disappointing," but said the team will stand by the three-time All Pro.
"Ray will be here," Bisciotti told The Baltimore Sun at the owners meetings. "This is a singular moment six years after we drafted him. It’s embarrassing for him and his fiancée. It is especially hard to see somebody that is proud of his reputation have to take this kind of public relations hit."