NFL Team Report - Baltimore Ravens - INSIDE SLANT


Ravens running back Ray Rice was indicted by a grand jury on a third-degree aggravated assault charge for allegedly striking his fiancee and rendering her unconscious last month, Atlantic County, N.J., prosecutors announced March 27. He is scheduled to be arraigned April 28 at Atlantic County Superior Court in New Jersey.

Rice was arrested and charged with simple assault-domestic violence on Feb. 15 after a physical altercation with his fiancee, Janay Palmer, at the Revel Casino and Hotel in Atlantic City. Palmer also was charged with simple assault.

The simple assault-domestic violence charge against Palmer was dismissed.

Prosecutors took the case to a grand jury, which returned a more serious charge of aggravated assault. The charge carries a potential penalty of three to five years in prison, officials said.

"This is part of the due process for Ray. We know there is more to Ray Rice than this one incident," the Ravens said in a statement.

One day after the announcement of the indictment, Rice and Palmer were married.

A video obtained and posted online by TMZ showed Rice lifting Palmer by her arms out of an elevator and laying her on the floor. Rice's attorney, Michael Diamondstein, has said the footage is authentic but incomplete.

Diamondstein told The Press of Atlantic City on Thursday that neither Rice 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 the paper. "Both Mr. Rice and Miss Palmer are together, they are happy and they're in counseling."

Rice, 27, signed a five-year, $35 million contract with the Ravens before the 2012 season. He is coming off his worst season, rushing for only 660 yards and averaging a career-low 3.1 yards per carry.

Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti previously called Rice's arrest "embarrassing and disappointing" but vowed to stick by the three-time All-Pro running back.

"Ray will be here," Bisciotti said this week in an interview with the Baltimore Sun at the NFL meetings in Orlando, Fla. "This is a singular moment six years after we drafted him. It's embarrassing for him and his fiancee. It is especially hard to see somebody that is proud of his reputation have to take this kind of public relations hit.

"If everybody was one-strike-and-you're-out, then we'd all be in trouble. When somebody repeats mistakes, it's showing a lack of character to me. You can't take what Ray's done -- the kind of locker-room influence he's been and the kind of community commitment that he's shown -- and say he's a different person. I showed my support. Would I show my support with repeated failures? No."

Ravens coach John Harbaugh expressed his displeasure on Tuesday over having three of his players arrested in a 22-day period, calling the arrests "unacceptable" and "disappointing,"

Besides Rice's arrest, backup wide receiver Deonte Thompson was arrested for possession of marijuana on Feb. 21 and backup offensive lineman Jah Reid was arrested on two misdemeanor charges of battery in a bar fight on March 9.

"It's unacceptable. It's disappointing," Harbaugh said at the NFL meetings. "But you also separate the person from the activity, and redemption is something that we think is important as well.

"If there is ever a point in time when we feel that person has lost value for our team, starting with football or because of their character, then you move on from those guys. But those guys aren't to that point."

Just as Bisciotti did, Harbaugh reaffirmed his support for Rice.