Ray Rice and Janay Palmer

A grand jury indicted Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice on Thursday on a charge of third-degree aggravated assault for allegedly knocking his fiancée unconscious last month during an altercation at a casino in Atlantic City, N.J.

According to ESPN, conviction on a third-degree charge in New Jersey carries a potential prison sentence of three to five years and a fine of up to $15,000.


On Feb. 15, police were called to the Revel Casino and Hotel after an altercation turned violent between Rice and his fiancée, Janay Palmer. Rice was arrested and charged with simple assault-domestic violence. Palmer was charged with simple assault.

A video posted online by TMZ may have damaged Rice in the court of public opinion as the it showed the running back lifting an unconscious Palmer by her arms out of an elevator and laying her on the floor.

Rice's attorney, Michael Diamondstein, told ESPN that while the footage is authentic it is also incomplete.

"I have been advised by the prosecutor's office that an indictment has been returned," Diamondstein told ESPN. "And again, we deny that he committed an aggravated assault. We don't think the law would support that [he did]. And we just ask the public to reserve judgment until all of the facts are out."


The Ravens released a statement Thursday that read: "This is part of the due process for Ray. We know there is more to Ray Rice than this one incident."

Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti told ESPN that despite Rice's arrest, he has a future with the team.

Earlier Thursday, Diamondstein told The Press of Atlantic City that neither Rice nor Palmer wants to move forward with the case.

"We vehemently deny that Mr. Rice committed an aggravated assault," he told the paper. "Both Mr. Rice and Miss Palmer are together, they are happy and they're in counseling."

Read more at ESPN.