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A complete timeline of the Ray Rice assault case

Ray Rice was released by the Ravens and indefinitely suspended by the NFL on Sept. 8 after a new video surfaced of his February assault on his then-fiancee (now his wife) Janay Rice.

Ray Rice spoke on May 23 for the first time since being arrested following an altercation with his then-fiancee, now-wife Janay Palmer in Atlantic City in February. Speaking at a news conference, Rice apologized for "the situation my wife and I were in," and promised reporters that he is "working every day to be a father, a better husband and a better role model."

"I failed miserably," Rice said. "But I wouldn't call myself a failure cause I'm working myself back up."

Rice was accompanied by his wife, his mother and his daughter. Janay Rice sat next to her husband during the press conference and, curiously, also spoke, apologizing for her "role in that night" though simple assault charges against her were eventually dropped. Footage from the night showed Rice dragging his wife's unconscious body from an elevator.

Rice's Apology

Both Ray and Janay Rice expressed their gratitude for the help they received in the months after the incident. The ordeal came as a surprise after Rice's six seasons in the NFL when he became arguably one the league's best running backs and a face of the Baltimore Ravens.

For his penance, Rice was handed a two-game suspension by the NFL that many considered absurdly mild. However, new video of the punch surfaced by TMZ after the NFL beefed up its domestic violence policy led to the Ravens releasing Rice and the NFL suspending him indefinitely.

Here's the complete timeline of the Ray Rice assault case.

Feb. 15: Rice and Palmer arrested

News broke that Rice had been arrested, charged and released from jail on simple assault charges, along with Palmer. It was known at the time that two had gotten into a fight at the Revel Casino in Atlantic City, though details of the altercation were not clear. Rice's attorney described the incident as a "minor physical altercation."

Feb. 19: Video surfaces of Rice dragging Palmer from an elevator

The "minor physical altercation" that Rice's attorney described appeared much more serious than that after footage emerged -- via TMZ, naturally -- of what was allegedly Rice dragging Palmer's limp body from an elevator by her shoulders. Again, Rice's representation came to his defense, saying, "neither Ray nor myself will try this case in the media," but acknowledged that the footage released by TMZ did, indeed, depict the couple.

Police later said that they obtained video that showed that Rice had knocked Palmer unconscious. That footage was not leaked to the public.

Feb. 21: John Harbaugh: "Ray's character, you guys know his character, so you start with that."

The heads of the Ravens organization came to Rice's defense in the days following his arrest. Both Harbaugh and general manager Ozzie Newsome iterated that Rice would continue to be in the team's plans at running back.

Neither absolved Rice of wrongdoing, however. Harbaugh:

"The two people obviously have a couple issues that they have to work through, and they're both committed to doing that. That was the main takeaway for me from the conversation. They understand their own issues. They're getting a lot of counseling and those kinds of things, so I think that's really positive. That was the main takeaway."

Feb. 22: Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome discusses the incident

Newsome said at the Combine he had seen the first video of Rice dragging his fiancee out of the elevator.

"We will allow the league to take it's position before we have to take any.

"I'm going to reserve all my comments until I've had a chance to talk to Ray. The whole video needs to be reviewed."

March 24: Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti promises that Rice "will definitely be back"

Bisciotti addressed the Ray Rice situation at the annual league meetings in Orlando. He talked up Rice's character, stressing his "goodwill" with the team and in the community. He also noted that Rice had no previous record of being in trouble for off-field behavior.

"He's just been lauded as the nicest, hardest working, greatest guy on the team and in the community. So we have to support him. I think we'll be rewarded by him maturing and never putting himself in a situation like that again.

"I've been on record of saying my definition of character is repeating offenses. If we're all one strike and you're out, then we're all in trouble. It's how you respond to adversity."

March 26: Roger Goodell addresses Rice

When asked if the league is aware of incident and whether there will be discipline: "The answer to that is yes. And I don't know on the second part. We will let the facts dictate that."

March 27: Rice indicted on aggravated assault charges

Rice had his charges upped to aggravated assault from simple assault after the case was presented by prosecutors to a grand jury. Aggravated assault carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. Meanwhile, the simple assault charges against Palmer were dropped.

Although Palmer indicated later that she did not want to go forward with prosecution, that didn't stop the state from following up.

The Ravens issued a brief statement on Rice's indictment:

"This is part of the due process for Ray. We know there is more to Ray Rice than this one incident."

March 28: Rice and Palmer married

The day after Rice's indictment, Rice and Palmer were married. According to the Baltimore Sun, the two had initially planned to have a summer wedding before moving the date up without a public explanation. Wide receiver Torrey Smith attended the wedding, and expressed his support.

"Everyone knows that we're tight. I'm tight with Ray, I'm tight with Janay. He is like a brother to me and she's like a sister to me and my wife as well," Smith said. "I went by yesterday after everything happened and checked up on them and they're happy ... they're growing. They're trying to better themselves from it.

"I'm there to support them no matter what happens, and that's both of them. I wish them the best and they are making themselves better."

May 1: Rice rejects plea deal, applies for pretrial intervention program

Rice rejected a plea offer that would have spared the running back jail time in exchange for completing probation and undergoing anger management. Instead, he pleaded not guilty and applied for a program for first-time offenders that could clear him of charges in as few as six months. The program would require Rice to stay out of trouble and attend regular counseling.

May 21: Rice accepted into pretrial intervention program

Prosecutors allowed Rice to go into the program rather than take the case to trial. Under the terms of the deal, if Rice completes a 12-month program and stays out of trouble, the case will not show up on his record. The program is typically used for crimes that don't involve violence and "victimless crimes." A report from Outside the Lines in September revealed that the pretrial intervention program was granted in less than one percent of all domestic violence cases in New Jersey between 2010-2013.

May 23: The press conference

Assisted by the Ravens, Ray and Janay Rice hold a press conference. Ray Rice apologized for "the situation he and his wife were in." Janay Rice apologizes for her role in the situation, and the Ravens share highlights from the event on social media.

Critics hammer Rice and the Ravens for the event.

June 16: Rice has his discipline hearing with Goodell

Rice and the commissioner are joined by Newsome, Ravens team president Dick Cass, NFL lead counsel Jeff Pash and NFL VP for labor relations Adolpho Birch. Also in the room, in one of the more questionable decisions in the process, was Janay Rice.

What did Rice tell the NFL about the incident?

Peter King, on July 25, gave a detailed summary of who was in the room that day and what was said. From King's report:

Rice's wife, a source said, made a moving and apparently convincing case to Goodell ... that the incident in the hotel elevator was a one-time event, and nothing physical had happened in their relationship before or since. She urged Goodell, the source said, to not ruin Rice's image and career with his sanctions.

The NFL says they did not see the full video of the incident, and there are conflicting reports about what Rice told them. In an interview with CBS after the second tape was released, Goodell said that Rice was "ambiguous" in recounting the event.

In a letter to the NFLPA on Sep. 12, Goodell said that Rice gave a "starkly different" version of events than what was revealed on the second tape released by TMZ.

Ozzie Newsome said on Sep. 10 that Rice "didn't lie" to him about what was on the video. A report from Ed Werder at ESPN said that Rice gave the Ravens a version of the event consistent with what was on the tape.

Later reports contradicted Goodell's claim. ESPN's Outside the Lines talked to four sources who said that Rice was honest with Goodell about what happened.

July 24: Ray Rice suspended 2 games by NFL

Although Rice will almost assuredly avoid jail time, he may not be able to avoid punishment from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who has suspended players in the past even when charges were dropped. ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported Friday that the Ravens are anticipating that Rice will miss some time, but how long is unclear. Former Ravens cornerbacks Cary Williams and Fabian Washington earned two- and one-game suspensions, respectively, for similar first-time offenses of domestic violence, though neither was caught on tape.

While we wait to hear what the NFL will do, it's unclear if the Ravens will take any punitive measures of their own. At the NFL Combine in February, Newsome said that the organization is waiting to take its cue from the league:

"As a league, we have a conduct policy," Newsome said. "Being a member of the league, we will follow that A to Z. Up until we get to that point, he falls under the personal policy of the league. We will allow the league to take it's position before we have to take any."

Newsome said he's seen the Rice video online "just like everyone and it doesn't look good."

July 29: Peter King reports that the NFL did see the full video of the incident

King retracted that report after the second video was released.

Aug. 28: NFL admits missteps, announces new domestic violence policy

Goodell admitted that he "didn't get it right" when he handed Rice a two-game suspension, and beefed up the league's domestic violence policy in reaction. He sent a lengthy letter to team owners outlining a six-game suspension without pay for the first offenses, and a lifetime ban for second offenses. The new policy will apply to all NFL personnel, including executives and owners.

"I take responsibility both for the decision and for ensuring that our actions in the future properly reflect our values," Goodell said. "I didn't get it right. Simply put, we have to do better. And we will."

Sept. 8: Video surfaces of Rice punching wife in the face

Rice and the NFL took heavy criticism in the weeks following the announcement of his two-game suspension. Just after Week 1, those criticisms were stoked. TMZ received video of Rice punching Palmer inside the elevator, and published it.

The video could bring additional punishment on Rice under the league's revamped domestic violence policy. According to ESPN's Chris Mortensen, the NFL requested the tape from law enforcement during its investigation, but was denied. The Ravens also reportedly hadn't seen the video until TMZ released it. According to Mortensen, the Ravens are preparing for the running back to miss more time.

Sept. 8: Ravens release Rice

The same day that TMZ released video of Rice knocking his wife unconscious, the Ravens terminated the running back's contract. According to Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports, the decision was made because Rice had allegedly been dishonest with the team about what transpired.

Sept. 8: Rice suspended indefinitely by NFL

Soon after the Ravens announced they would be releasing Rice, the NFL announced that Rice will be suspended indefinitely. There is no word yet when he may return, putting the free agent's football career on hold.

Sept. 8: John Harbaugh said the Ravens did not see the tape until the TMZ release

In the first public comments by the Ravens following Rice's release, head coach John Harbaugh said the team had not seen the elevator video of the incident until it was released by TMZ. He said once the team saw the video, the organization leaders met and quickly came to the decision to release Rice.

Sept. 9: Janay Rice releases a statement

Janay Rice posted a statement on her Instagram account the day following the video release. She said "reality is a nightmare in itself" and criticized the media for causing pain to her family. "To make us relive a moment in our lives that we regret everyday is a horrible thing," she wrote.

Sept. 9: The NFL said it did not see the video until after the TMZ release

The NFL said it did not see the video from the elevator until it was released by TMZ. The league said it requested all information from the incident from police, but the elevator video was "not made available to us." The NFL claimed no one in its office saw the video until TMZ released it.

Sept. 9: Ray Rice makes first public comments

Rice's first comments following his release came in a text message to Rachel Nichols of CNN. In it, he said "I'm just holding strong for my wife and kid, that's all i can do right now."

Sept. 9: Roger Goodell denied seeing the Rice video before the release

Roger Goodell conducted his first interview and reiterated he and the NFL had not received the video prior to its release:

"We had not seen any videotape of what occurred in the elevator," Goodell said. "We assumed that there was a video, we asked for video, we asked for anything that was pertinent, but we were never granted that opportunity."

While discussing the situation, Goodell said he could not rule out Rice ever playing in the NFL again.

Sept. 9: Ravens owner apologizes for team's response

Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti issued a letter of apology to season ticket holders, fans and sponsors. He detailed the process the team went through following the incident and admitted the team should have done more.

Yesterday morning Sept 8, all of us saw the video from inside the elevator. It is violent and horrifying. I immediately came to the office and called a meeting with Dick Cass, Ozzie Newsome, John Harbaugh and Kevin Byrne. The meeting was relatively short. The decision to let Ray Rice go was unanimous. Seeing that video changed everything. We should have seen it earlier. We should have pursued our own investigation more vigorously. We didn't and we were wrong.

Sept. 10: The Associated Press reports the NFL received the elevator video in April

Citing an unnamed law enforcement official, the Associated Press reported the NFL was sent the elevator video in April. The source said he had a 12-second voicemail from an NFL office number confirming the video arrived. The NFL quickly refuted the report and said it had "no knowledge" of ever receiving the video.

Sept. 10: Newsome says Ray Rice "didn't lie" to him

Ozzie Newsome said on Sep. 10 that Rice "didn't lie" to him about what was on the video. A report from Ed Werder at ESPN said that Rice gave the Ravens a version of the event consistent with what was on the tape.

Sept. 10: ESPN's Outside the Lines reports that Rice spat at Janay Palmer before hitting her.

It also recounted part of the verbal exchange between the two in the casino that night.

Sept. 10: Rodger Goodell has no intentions to resign

The NFL commissioner received significant criticism for his handling of the situation and there have been calls for him to resign. According to a source, Goodell has no such plans and the source went as far to say Goodell will "never" resign.

Sept. 10: NFL announces independent investigation

Former FBI director Robert Mueller will lead the probe, overseen by Giants co-owner John Mara and Steelers co-owner Art Rooney III. Mueller is a lawyer with the WilmerHale law firm, which negotiated the NFL's new deal with DirecTV.

Sept. 11: Report says Goodell was concerned about Janay Rice and public backlash

An anonymous owner told the Wall Street Journal that Goodell didn't pursue the Rice investigation because he was concerned that it would be insensitive to question Janay Rice's story and he worried how that would be perceived. The owner in the WSJ story also said that Goodell believed she was knocked unconscious because she fell down in the elevator.

Sept. 12: NFL notifies NFLPA of Rice's indefinite suspension

Because the NFL had already suspended Rice for the incident (the original two-game suspension), they had to have justification to suspend him indefinitely. Goodell told the Players Association that the indefinite suspension was the result of Rice giving them a different version of events than what was revealed on the video of him punching his then-fiancee.

ESPN's Outside the Lines talked to four sources who said that Rice was honest with Goodell about what happened.

Sept. 16: Rice appeals indefinite suspension

At the heart of Rice's appeal is the insinuation by Goodell that Rice misled him when the two met in June. Rice will contend that he was honest with Goodell, and has a statement by Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome and a report by ESPN's Outside the Lines to corroborate him. Goodell said that Rice gave the NFL a different story about the incident in the elevator than what the video portrayed.

Whether Goodell heard Rice's appeal is unknown. The commissioner normally hears appeals, but his role in the investigation may have led Rice and the NFLPA to suggest that he be removed from proceedings in favor of a neutral arbitrator.

Nov. 5-6: Rice suspension appeal hearing will be held

The hearing for Rice's appeal of his suspension by the NFL will take place on Nov. 5-6. It is unknown whether NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will be at the hearing. Judge Barbara Jones will preside over the appeal, after the NFLPA requested that Goodell not be involved due to his role in handing out Rice's initial suspension by the league.

Rice is likely to argue that the video released by TMZ was heavily edited and did not fully show the role of his fianceé in the incident. He also has affirmed that he has been honest with the league in his meetings with officials.

Nov. 5: Goodell testifies at hearing

Goodell ended up testifying for more than two hours in front of Judge Jones at Rice's appeal hearing. The commissioner was the first person called to do so, answering questions first from the NFL legal team and then from Jeffrey Kesler, a lawyer representing the players' union.

Due to a gag order, no other information about Goodell's statements have been brought to light. A decision on Rice's appeal for reinstatement to the NFL is expected within days.

Nov. 6: Newsome testifies that Rice came clean to Goodell

The Ravens GM provided what could potentially be the key piece of testimony on the hearing's final day when he claimed under oath that Rice told Goodell during the June 16 sitdown that he hit Palmer in the elevator. Newsome's assertion seems to contradict Goodell's own claims that Rice was ambiguous during the meeting, and that he did not realize Palmer had been punched until the release of the second video.

Nov. 28: Rice wins appeal, reinstated by NFL

A neutral arbitrator overturned Rice's suspension, forcing the NFL to reinstate Rice and making him immediately eligible to sign with a team and resume playing. The arbitrator said that Rice did not lie to the commissioner during the June 16 meeting, making the upgraded suspension excessive and without cause.