The domestic violence charge against back Ray Rice was dismissed Thursday by an Atlantic City judge, who determined that the former Baltimore Ravens running back had completed the requisite pretrial intervention program.
Rice entered a not-guilty plea to a charge stemming from a now-famous incident in which he knocked out his wife, then his fiancee, in a casino in exchange for entering the program, which is typically used in New Jersey for first offenses “when such services can reasonably be expected to deter future criminal behavior.” According to ESPN’s “Outside the Lines,” however those programs are usually applied in victimless crimes.
Judge Michael Donio emailed ABC News: “I was just presented with a dismissal order from Prosecutor [James] McClain — which means that Ray Rice has successfully completed all of his terms and conditions of his PTI — therefore based on the Prosecutors recommendation I will be signing Mr. Rice’s dismissal of his case.”
Rice was accepted into the program, which runs for a minimum of one year, last May and successfully completing it means that the third-degree charge of aggravated assault would be dismissed.
“This decision was arrived at after careful consideration of the information contained in Mr. Rice’s application in light of all the facts gathered during the investigation,” McClain said a year ago. “After considering all relevant information in light of applicable law it was determined that this was the appropriate disposition.”
Rice was initially suspended for two games by the NFL, prompting an uproar after video of the knockout punch was posted by TMZ. Rice was cut by the Ravens and suspended indefinitely by the NFL. However, that suspension was overturned on appeal and Rice, 28, has been free to play again. He has remained unsigned.
The elevator incident occurred in February 2014 and Rice married Janay Palmer a little less than two months later. Rich has repeatedly apologized for the incident and the couple has said they are in counseling.