NFL star Rice in pretrial program

Ray Rice was caughton video dragging his then-girlfriend from a casino elevator.
Ray Rice was caughton video dragging his then-girlfriend from a casino elevator.

Ravens runner will be watched by court in casino assault case involving his now-wife.

Posted: May 22, 2014

Superior Court staff in Atlantic County will join Baltimore Ravens fans and fantasy football leagues in keeping an eye on running back Ray Rice for at least the next year.

Rice, 27, was approved Tuesday for a pretrial program designed to lead to dismissal of an assault charge stemming from an altercation with his then-fiancee in a Revel Casino Hotel elevator Feb. 15.

Rice will have to complete at least 12 months of a supervised program that will likely require counseling, employment, and staying out of trouble.

Video showing Rice dragging Janay Palmer, now his wife, unconscious out of the elevator was leaked to TMZ, prompting the case to be bumped from the municipal level to the county.

Rice's attorney, Michael Diamondstein of Philadelphia, said his client was pleased with the outcome. He maintained that neither Rice nor his wife was injured in the altercation.

"Mr. Rice has made it clear from the beginning that he was not going to discuss Miss Palmer's role in the incident," he said. He declined to elaborate.

The video from inside the elevator, obtained by the prosecutor, has never been made public.

Acting Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain said the decision to allow Rice to enter the program for first offenders "was arrived at after careful consideration of the information contained in Mr. Rice's application in light of all of the facts gathered during the investigation."

The case brought a pack of Baltimore reporters to the Atlantic County courthouse in Mays Landing on May 1 to hear Rice plead not guilty. A hearing scheduled for May 29 has been canceled.

Diamondstein said he was satisfied that Rice had been treated no differently by prosecutors than any other person in a similar situation. His future as a running back will now depend solely on his play.

"He certainly is very happy with the result," Diamondstein said. He said Rice would complete the program in Baltimore, not Atlantic County.

Palmer, who initially faced an assault charge, later dropped, consented to Rice's entering the PTI program.

609-823-0453 @amysrosenberg

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