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Rice's arraignment set for April 28

The SportsXchange

Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, indicted on a felony aggravated assault charge, is scheduled to be arraigned April 28 at Atlantic County Superior Court in New Jersey.

Rice is accused of allegedly striking unconscious then-fiancee Janay Palmer on Feb. 15 at Revel Casino in Atlantic City, N.J. Rice and Palmer were married last Friday.

Rice was initially facing a simple assault-domestic violence charge, but he was indicted by a grand jury on March 27 on the more serious third-degree aggravated assault charge after the case was reviewed by the prosecutor's office.

The arraignment is scheduled for 8:45 a.m. ET.

If convicted of aggravated assault, Rice could face between three and five years in jail. As a first-time offender, however, Rice could avoid jail time and may be eligible for a diversionary program.

Rice's attorney, Michael Diamondstein, told The Baltimore Sun last week that the couple doesn't wish to go forward in the prosecution of the case. Rice and Palmer have been in counseling since the incident.

"Ray Rice is not going to put blame on Janay Palmer," Diamondstein said. "The state chose only to prosecute Ray Rice, and we ask that the public reserve judgment until all the facts come out."

Marital privilege doesn't apply in domestic violence cases in New Jersey when a spouse is the alleged victim under an exception in New Jersey law, an Atlantic City criminal defense attorney not affiliated with the case, told the newspaper last week.

A video obtained and posted online by TMZ showed Rice lifting Palmer by her arms out of an elevator and laying her on the floor. Rice's attorney has said the footage is authentic but incomplete.

Rice, 27, signed a five-year, $35 million contract with the Ravens before the 2012 season. He is coming off his worst season, rushing for only 660 yards and averaging a career-low 3.1 yards per carry.

Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti previously called Rice's arrest "embarassing and disappointing" but vowed to stick by the three-time All-Pro running back.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh also has reaffirmed his support for Rice.

"He will be part of our team," Harbaugh said at the NFL owners meetings last week. "He's a person of character. The thing that's really important is to be able to support the person without condoning the action.

"He makes a mistake. There's no justifying what happened. When you drink too much in public, those kind of things happen."

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said at the owners meetings the league was continuing to monitor Rice's case, indicating no timetable or decision on whether Rice will be punished by the league.
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