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Ray Rice indicted for aggravated assault in domestic violence incident with fiancee

Ray Rice has been indicted for aggravated assault, which carries a stiffer penalty than the initial charge of simple assault-domestic violence that he received following a fight with his fiancee in Atlantic City.

US PRESSWIRE

Ray Rice has been indicted for aggravated assault following an incident of domestic violence with his fiancee, Janay Palmer, in February, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. Rice was initially charged with simple assault-domestic violence, but had his charges upped by a grand jury -- aggravated assault carries a prison term of three to five years, according ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Palmer had also been charged with simple assault-domestic violence after she and Rice reportedly fought at an Atlantic City casino in mid-Februrary, but that charge has been dismissed, according to Wilson. Video footage showed Rice dragging an unconscious Palmer out of elevator at the Revel Casino. According to the police summons, Rice was responsible for knocking Palmer unconscious.

The incident is expected to bring Rice a suspension. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell indicated Wednesday that he is monitoring the situation, saying "we will let facts dictate" what the next step in handling the running back will be. Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh stuck up for Rice at the NFL owners meetings last Tuesday.

"I'm very confident that [Rice] is someone we want as part of our team," Harbaugh said. "He will be a part of our team. He's a person of character. The thing that's really important is to be able to support the person without condoning the action. There's no justifying what happened. When you drink too much in public, those kind of things happen."

Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome told reporters at the NFL Combine last month that the organization will follow the NFL's lead before taking a stance.

"I'm going to reserve all my comments until I have a chance to talk to Ray," Newsome said. "The whole video needs to be reviewed."

"In any of those situations, it's very concerning. But we get all the facts and will let the process run itself. We will let the facts determine what the consequence will be."