The grand jury indictment was announced Thursday. If Rice is convicted, he could face three to five years in prison.
The indictment is stemming from an incident that occurred in the Revel Casino on Feb. 15, when Rice was involved in an altercation with his fiancée Janay Palmer. Rice and Palmer were both initially arrested on charges of simple assault, but prosecutors increased Rice’s charge to aggravated assault and dismissed the charges on Palmer.
The team released the following statement:
“This is part of the due process for Ray. We know there is more to Ray Rice than this one incident.”
The Ravens have stood behind Rice since the incident last month, and Owner Steve Bisciotti voiced his support of him during an interview Monday at the owners meetings before the indictment was announced. They have stood behind Rice as a person based on his historic character, but don’t condone his actions.
“He’ll be back with the team. He’ll definitely be back,” Bisciotti said. “I know how terribly disappointing it is to Ray and his fiancée, how embarrassing it is for them. I have to have compassion towards him.”
Rice could face punishment from the NFL in the form of a suspension, but NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday that he has yet to make a decision on the case.
“We’ll let the facts dictate that,” Goodell said.
A press release from the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office says that Rice was indicted for “attempting to cause significant bodily injury, and/or purposely or knowing causing such injury, and/or recklessly causing such injury under extreme indifference to the value of human life.”
The next court date has not yet been set.