Former Rutgers University football player and Super Bowl champion Ray Rice pleaded not guilty to a third degree charge of aggravated assault and will look to enter a pretrial program, ESPN reports.
The Baltimore Ravens running was arraigned in a Mays Landing court room Thursday morning. Rice is charged with aggravated assault, 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 program Rice hopes to enroll in is a diversionary
program that permits first time offenders of third or fourth degree crimes to avoid prosecution, according to
the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office. It ranges in duration between four months and six years.
Should Rice fail to qualify for the program, prosecutorshave chosen not to pursue jail time for the football star. Instead, they are offering a plea deal that would substitute jail time with probation, according to the report. He would also have to undergo anger management counseling.
Atlantic County First Assistant Prosecutor Diane Ruberton confirmed the existence of additional evidence, said that she is confident of securing a conviction, and reaffirmed that the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office will not release details of the investigation.
His next court date is scheduled for May 29.
Rice’s wife Janay Palmer has said she doesn’t want the case
against Rice to proceed. Rice and Palmer, then his fiancée, were charged with
simple assault following a physical altercation outside the Revel in February.
The charges against Palmer have since been dismissed. Rice and Palmer were married the day after Rice was indicted.
They live with their young daughter in Reisterstown, Maryland and are undergoing marriage counseling, according to The Press of Atlantic City.
Rice holds 11 Rutgers University rushing records, including career yards and career touchdowns. He was drafted by the Ravens in 2008, and won Super Bowl XLVII with the team following the 2012 season.