Ravens RB Rice indicted on aggravated assault charge

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Updated: 3/27 6:38 pm

Atlantic City, NJ (SportsNetwork.com) - Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice could face three to five years in prison.

Rice was indicted by a grand jury in Atlantic City, N.J. Thursday on one count of third-degree aggravated assault.

It was not a good day for Rice, who had initially faced a charge of simple assault for allegedly striking his fiancee, Janay Palmer, in the Revel Casino on Feb. 15.

After the incident occurred, a video obtained and posted online by TMZ.com showed Rice lifting Palmer by her arms out of an elevator and laying her on the floor.

Prosecutors increased Rice's charge to aggravated assault and dismissed the charges on Palmer, who also had been charged with simple assault.

A press release from the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office says that Rice was indicted 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 Ravens, who have supported Rice since the incident, 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."

Rice also could face punishment from the NFL in the form of a suspension, but NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday that he has yet to make a decision on the case.

"We'll let the facts dictate that," Goodell said.

Rice is not the only Ravens player that could face punishment from Goodell. 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 27-year-old Rice signed a five-year, $35 million contract with the Ravens before the 2012 season. The Rutgers product struggled last year, rushing for only 660 yards and four touchdowns.

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