A New Jersey judge on Thursday dismissed domestic violence charges against former Ravens running back Ray Rice, who this week completed a pretrial intervention program.
The charges, dismissed by Judge Michael A. Donio, stemmed from Rice's physical altercation in February 2014 with his now-wife, Janay, in an Atlantic City casino elevator.
When a graphic video of the incident surfaced in September, Rice's $35 million contract was terminated and he was indefinitely suspended by the NFL. That suspension was lifted after an appeal heard by former federal judge Barbara S. Jones.
The NFL and Ravens were criticized by Jones and in the Mueller report, an investigation conducted by former FBI director Robert Mueller, for the handling of the incident. Rice was originally suspended for two games by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell before the discipline was increased.
Rice avoided jail time in the case when he was accepted into the pretrial intervention program as a first-time offender.
Rice recently sold his Reisterstown home and moved to Connecticut to be closer to his hometown of New Rochelle, N.Y. He remains a free agent and hasn't visited or worked out for teams, but is hopeful that he'll get a second chance in the NFL.
Rice told The Baltimore Sun in February that his legal obligations were being fulfilled.
“I’m actually done in my case," Rice said. "Really, I just have to call the state of New Jersey once a month. After May 19, I’m done. It will be a full year. It will be like a refreshing start. That’s the only little burden that I have. I have until May 19. I don’t have anything to do but call and confirm some things with them that I’m not getting into any trouble. It’s a real basic phone call and they give me another date for the next month.
“This year has gone by really fast. It’s been a year since the incident. Once May comes, I’ll be moving into my new house and I’ll sort of feel like a free man by then. You’re back to a fresh slate. One thing I learned is to be patient and stay ready."