Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was indicted by a grand jury Thursday on third-degree aggravated assault for allegedly striking his fiancée last month and rendering her unconscious, reports ESPN.
Last month Rice was arrested at the Revel Casino in Atlantic City about 3 a.m. after a physical altercation with his fiancée. Both Rice and his fiancée, Janay Palmer, were charged then with simple assault.
Surveillance video obtained and posted online by TMZ showed Rice lifting an apparently unconscious Palmer by her arms out of an elevator and laying her on the floor. Rice's attorney, Michael Diamondstein, has said the footage is authentic but incomplete.
If Rice is convicted, he could face three to five years in prison.
Diamondstein told ESPN: "We deny that he committed an aggravated assault. We don't think the law would support that [he did]. And we just ask the public to reserve judgment until all of the facts are out."
Rice was one of three Ravens players to be arrested in a 22-day period, EPSN says. Backup wide receiver Deonte Thompson was arrested for possession of marijuana on Feb. 21, and reserve offensive lineman Jah Reid was arrested on two misdemeanor charges of battery on March 9.
The Ravens 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 supported Rice, 27, since his arrest. Owner Steve Bisciotti said of Rice during an interview Monday: “He’ll be back with the team. He’ll definitely be back. 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 signed a five-year, $35 million contract with the Ravens before the 2012 season, ESPN says.