Sources: Ray Rice gets married

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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice and Janay Palmer were married Friday, league sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

The marriage came one day after Rice was indicted by a grand jury on third-degree aggravated assault for allegedly striking Palmer unconscious.

The ceremony had been planned for a couple of weeks, according to sources.

Rice was arrested and charged with simple assault-domestic violence on Feb. 15 following a physical altercation with his then-fiancée at the Revel Casino and Hotel in Atlantic City, N.J.

Palmer also was charged with simple assault.

Rice's aggravated assault charge carries a sentence of three to five years. Prosecutors say the complaint against Palmer has been dismissed.

ESPN legal analyst Lester Munson said the marriage could provide a significant complication to proving the case against Rice.

"If the wife claims a spousal privilege, it is likely that she would not be forced to testify against him," Munson said. "The prosecution would face the prospect of proving the assault without any testimony from the victim. It is possible, but it would be extremely difficult. Unless a prosecutor has a burning desire to become famous in a case involving Rice, the prosecutor may be likely to invest his time in other, more productive activities."

A video obtained and posted online by TMZ showed Rice lifting Palmer by her arms out of an elevator and laying her on the floor. Rice's attorney, Michael Diamondstein, has said the footage is authentic but incomplete.

"I have been advised by the prosecutor's office that an indictment has been returned," Diamondstein told ESPN on Thursday afternoon. "And again, we deny that he committed an aggravated assault. We don't think the law would support that [he did]. And we just ask the public to reserve judgment until all of the facts are out."

Buffalo Bills linebacker Brandon Spikes took to Twitter on Saturday to weigh in on Rice, claiming that the marriage was the running back's attempt "to save his image."

Spikes, who spent the past four seasons with the New England Patriots, went on to post a series of critical tweets about Rice, even suggesting that "someone should choke him out."

I don't see how anyone can respect him. Put your hands on a woman. The woman that had ur child #EyeContact

- BrandonSpikes51 (@BrandonSpikes51) March 29, 2014

Someone should choke him out. See how he likes it.

- BrandonSpikes51 (@BrandonSpikes51) March 29, 2014The Ravens released a statement Thursday after the indictment that read: "This is part of the due process for Ray. We know there is more to Ray Rice than this one incident."

Rice was one of three Ravens players to be arrested in a 22-day period. 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.

Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti has said Rice has a future with the team despite his arrest.

Rice, 27, signed a five-year, $35 million contract with the Ravens before the 2012 season. He is coming off his worst season, rushing for only 660 yards and averaging a career-low 3.1 yards per carry.

Earlier Thursday, Diamondstein told The Press of Atlantic City that neither Rice nor Palmer wants to move forward with the case.

"We vehemently deny that Mr. Rice committed an aggravated assault," he told the paper. "Both Mr. Rice and Miss Palmer are together, they are happy and they're in counseling."

Information from Ravens reporter Jamison Hensley, ESPN NFL Insider Adam Caplan and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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