Ray Rice Pleads Not Guilty, Deal Pending

Rice said he was a 'happy husband,' appearing in court with the woman he was accused of assaulting.

Ray Rice after the Baltimore Ravens won the Super Bowl in 2013. (Credit: Michael Woyton)
Ray Rice after the Baltimore Ravens won the Super Bowl in 2013. (Credit: Michael Woyton)
Ravens running back Ray Rice told reporters he was a "happy father and a happy husband" at a New Jersey court Thursday before being arraigned on an assault charge involving his wife, according to ABC News.

Rice has more to be happy about, after prosecutors proposed a plea deal that would give him probation with no jail time and anger management counseling, WJZ reported. The probation would reportedly last between two and five years, to be determined at sentencing.

The case stemmed from a Feb. 15 incident in which Rice was seen dragging Janay Palmer, who was his fiancee at the time, at an Atlantic City casino. He and Palmer were married the day after Rice was indicted on a third-degree aggravated assault charge in March. They live with their young daughter in Reisterstown and are undergoing marriage counseling.

The two were holding hands upon arriving at the courthouse in Mays Landing, NJ, according to DelmarvaNow.com.

Rice's attorney entered a not guilty plea for his client, who only said one word—"present"—at the hearing, according to The Star-Ledger.

The attorney also filed for Rice to participate in a pre-trial intervention program, which still has to be approved by the judge, according to WNEW.

The state's pre-trial intervention program focuses on rehabilitation to prevent future criminal behavior rather than taking first-time offenders to trial. It is designed for New Jersey residents but anyone may apply, according to New Jersey Courts. Its successful completion reportedly expunges the charges.

Rice will return to court May 29 for a status conference, according to WJZ.

Regardless of the ruling, ESPN reported Rice would still likely face punishment from the NFL, like a fine or suspension, for violating its personal conduct policy.

Bob Higginbotham May 02, 2014 at 10:45 AM
There was no doubt in anyone's mind that Rice would get off with a wrist slap. I'm sure there were some strings pulled behind the scenes by Raven management. The treatment of these overgrown two year olds is why I have no respect for this new generation of money mad jocks or the judicial system.
John McGill May 02, 2014 at 01:12 PM
once a thug, always a thug. he's on the right team
You May 04, 2014 at 07:43 AM
Plea deals are acceptance of a guilty verdict avoiding long, expensive trials = lesser fines are the reward for the guilty individual. There WAS a camera in the elevator that recorded the incident. Police were going to use that as evidence as they openly stated, but they cannot release the video evidence prior to the trial. Part of the plea deal was definitely to BURY the video and never release it. A video of Ray punching out his girlfriend would have been released if it went to trial and that would have crushed his image and the NFL would have seriously punished him. Ray followed the instructions to a "T" of what his big money lawyers told him to do. Also I am 100% sure that those lawyers were working with the Ravens to save face as much as possible.
Albert Van Thournout May 04, 2014 at 08:43 AM
If there is a situation where a plea deal should not be accepted, this is it.


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