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Ray Rice charged with aggravated assault

Ray Rice, an NFL running back and member of the Super Bowl XLVII championship team, is in hotter water than he originally thought. Following his arrest for allegedly assaulting his fiancée in February, Rice initially faced a charge of simple assault, a misdemeanor.

Now a grand jury in Atlantic County, New Jersey, has indicted the three-time All-Pro running back for aggravated assault, a more serious felony charge. The charge relates to an incident that occurred in February 2014, when Rice allegedly knocked his fiancée unconscious in a casino elevator.

New Jersey Prosecutors reviewed the investigation for several weeks, before dismissing the charge of simple assault and choosing instead to present the more serious charge to a grand jury. This is despite Rice’s attorney stating that neither Rice nor his fiancée wish to go forward with the prosecution. According to police, some of the heated altercation was caught on surveillance video.

Rice’s team, the Ravens, have pledged their support for their running back while he faces these allegations in the public eye. They released a statement saying, “This is part of the due process for Ray. We know there is more to Ray Rice than this one incident.”  Rice has never been cited by the league for violations off the field and has never been suspended by the league in his entire career. The NFL commissioner has said they are monitoring the situation but have not levied any punishment.

This is a high profile case regarding a well-known athlete but the laws remain the same for everyone. Anyone who is charged with aggravated assault or another felony, such as arson, burglary or felony drug charges, should seek legal advice for the best course of action. 

Source: The Baltimore Sun, “Ray Rice indicted on aggravated assault charge in New Jersey,” Justin Fenton, March 27, 2014

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