A day after being indicted on a more serious charge of third-degree aggravated assault, Ravens running back Ray Rice married his fiancée Janay Palmer, according to multiple reports.
After allegedly being involved in a physical altercation on Feb. 15 in which they both struck each other with their hands and Rice rendered Palmer unconscious, the couple has been going to therapy and counseling. Both were originally charged with simple assault-domestic violence before an Atlantic County, N.J. grand jury brought the more serious charge against Rice and dismissed the charge against Palmer.
According to The Sun, Rice and Palmer getting married will not allow the latter to invoke spousal privilege as there is an exception in New Jersey law when the spouse is the alleged victim. A third-degree aggravated assault conviction carries a potential three-to-five-year prison sentence.
Reactions against Rice have been very strong over the last six weeks as Buffalo Bills linebacker Brandon Spikes took to Twitter on Saturday to accuse the 27-year-old of marrying Palmer to help his image.
“I don’t see how anyone can respect him. Put your hands on a woman,” Spikes wrote on his official account. “The woman that had [your] child. Someone should choke him out. See how he likes it.”
The Ravens have maintained their support for Rice throughout the legal process as owner Steve Bisciotti and coach John Harbaugh reiterated earlier this week that the running back would remain with the organization in 2014. They released the following statement on Thursday following news of the indictment:
“This is part of the due process for Ray. We know there is more to Ray Rice than this one incident.”