Police arrested Rice, known for his advocacy against
bullying, together with his fiancée, Janay Palmer, outside the
Revel Casino and Hotel in Atlantic City in February.
Surveillance tape at the time was alleged to show the two
hitting each other in one of the casino's elevators, and Rice
and Palmer both initially faced simple assault charges.
A grand jury indicted Rice on the more serious charge of
aggravated assault in March, however, when the case against Palmer was
If convicted, Rice could be sentenced to up to five years in
At his hearing in Atlantic County Superior Court in New Jersey
on Thursday, Rice applied for a discretionary program for
first-time offenders, according to the Atlantic County
Prosecutor's Office. Completion of the program could lead to the
dismissal of Rice's case, the prosecutor's office said in a
Rice walked to the courthouse holding hands with Palmer and told
reporters he was a "happy father and happy husband," according
to sports network ESPN, which reported that the two were now
Rice's attorney did not immediately respond to requests for
Rice signed a five-year, $35 million contract with the Ravens in
2012 and helped the team to a Super Bowl victory over the San
Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome, speaking to media at a
pre-draft news conference on Wednesday, said, "We’ll deal with
Ray (Rice) when that time comes."
He added the team was looking to add as many as two running
backs to its roster.
(Reporting by Curtis Skinner; editing by Jon Herskovitz and Tom
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