Ray Rice marries Janay Palmer amid assault case

A day after he was indicted on charges of third-degree aggravated assault for allegedly knocking his fiancée unconscious, Ravens running back Ray Rice and Janay Palmer got married.

Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith said today that he visited Rice and Palmer after Friday's ceremony and they are "in a good place."

"Everyone knows that we're tight. I'm tight with Ray, I'm tight with Janay. He is like a brother to me and she's like a sister to me and my wife as well," Smith said at his charity basketball game. "I went by yesterday after everything happened and checked up on them and they're happy ... they're growing. They're trying to better themselves from it.

"I'm there to support them no matter what happens, and that's both of them. I wish them the best and they are making themselves better."

Rice and Palmer, who police said were involved in a physical altercation at an Atlantic City casino on Feb. 15, have been getting counseling and therapy, according to Ravens officials who have stayed in contact with the running back.

They never broke off the engagement, though it was believed that they were initially planning to get married in the summer. It’s unclear what – if anything – resulted in the change of plans, though sources close to Rice believe the couple will celebrate their marriage with a gathering of family and friends later this summer. 

Rice, 27, learned on Thursday that he’d face a more serious charge after prosecutors in Atlantic County. N.J., reviewed the case and then presented it to a grand jury, which handed up the indictment.  Third-degree aggravated assault can result in a prison sentence of three to five years.

Both Rice and Palmer were initially charged with simple assault. The charge against Palmer, 26, has been dismissed.

Attorney Joseph A. Levin, a criminal defense expert based in Atlantic City who is not affiliated with the case, told the Baltimore Sun earlier this week that Rice and Palmer getting married before the case was resolved would likely not allow Palmer to invoke spousal privilege. 

There is an exception in New Jersey law when the spouse is the alleged victim, Levin said.

A court hearing date for Rice has not been set and Rice has not been taken into custody.

The Ravens have stood behind Rice, who will likely be facing a suspension when his legal issues are sorted out. Team owner Steve Bisciotti and head coach John Harbaugh said definitively at the NFL owners meetings this week that Rice will be with the Ravens in 2014.

A couple of other Ravens, including Smith, have also been supportive of Rice. However, recently-signed Buffalo Bills linebacker Brandon Spikes took to Twitter this afternoon to blast the Ravens running back.

Spikes tweeted that he got “mad a little bit” when he saw video of Rice dragging his unconscious fiancée out of an elevator. That video was posted by TMZ a couple of days after the incident.

“I don’t see how anyone can respect him. Put your hands on a woman. The woman that had ur child,” Spikes tweeted. “Someone should choke him out. See how he likes it.”

Spikes also accused Rice of trying to save his image by getting married.

ESPN first reported today that Rice and Palmer were married on Friday.

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