Domestic Violence Charges Dismissed against Ray Rice
On May 21, 2015, the domestic violence charges against Ray Rice were dismissed by Judge Michael Donio. Charges were filed against Rice after he knocked his then fiancée, Janay Palmer unconscious in a hotel elevator last year. The complete incident was captured by a surveillance camera.
Rice had been charged with third-degree aggravated assault. Judge Donio signed the order after the prosecutor told him that Rice had completed the terms of his pretrial intervention. Rice even paid $125 in fines and received anger management counseling under the terms of the program.
His admission into the state’s pretrial interview program too was a controversy and drew criticism. The Associated Press records indicated that out of more than the 15,000 domestic violence assault cases between 2010 and 2013, only 70 were admitted into the pretrial intervention program in New Jersey’s Superior Court. Moreover, the state guidelines advise that those who commit violent crimes should “generally be rejected” from the program. However, the Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain, who handled the case, indicated that he signed off on it after having reviewing the circumstances, which included consultation with Palmer, who married Rice post his indictment by a grand jury.
This incident compromised Rice’s promising career with the NFL, as videos were released of him dragging his fiancée out of the elevator after he struck her. The NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell initially suspended Rice for two games, but suspended him indefinitely after a second video revealed the knockout punch. Rice appealed, and an arbitrator reinstated him. He is however, yet to sign with a team