Ravens running back Ray Rice was in a New Jersey courtroom Thursday to enter a plea on the third-degree charge of aggravated assault he faces as a result of an altercation with his then-fiancee and current wife at an Atlantic City casino in February.
Justin Fenton of the Baltimore Sun reports that Rice pleaded not guilty to the charges and applied for a spot in a pretrial intervention program. If accepted into the diversionary program, which New Jersey uses for first offenses “when such services can reasonably be expected to deter future criminal behavior,” Rice would have no criminal record associated with the case.
Prosecutors said Thursday that they consented to Rice’s application for the program. Should Rice be rejected, they have also offered a plea deal that would include probation and anger management classes without any jail time.
Given those two options, it looks like Rice will not spend any time as a guest of the state as a result of his actions. Whichever path Rice winds up taking, the potential for NFL discipline will remain on the table.