Ray Rice Domestic Violence Charges Dismissed

Ray Rice

Domestic violence charges against t former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice were dismissed Thursday morning, Atlantic City Judge Michael A. Donio confirmed to NBC News. The prosecutor sent Judge Donio a dismissal order after Rice successfully completed his pre-trial intervention program.

The NFL star’s life has been in shambles since a video released last year showed him beating his then girlfriend unconscious on a casino elevator in February 2014. Initially, Rice was suspended for two games, but when a more violent video was released the Baltimore Ravens took further action. The new footage prompted the team to release the running back and the NFL to suspend him indefinitely. However, in November 2014 Rice won his appeal and became eligible to play again.

Once he became eligible to play professionally again, though, Rice released a statement, saying, “I would like to thank Judge Barbara Jones, the NFL Players Association, my attorneys, agents, advisors, family, friends and fans-but most importantly, my wife Janay. I made an inexcusable mistake and accept full responsibility for my actions. I am thankful that there was a proper appeals process in place to address this issue. I will continue working hard to improve myself and be the best husband, father and friend, while giving back to my community and helping others to learn from my mistakes.”

Janay, who married the athlete six weeks after the violent incident occurred, has been vocally supportive of her husband. In an interview with Today‘s Matt Lauer she said that Rice was “terrified” after hitting her and that was the first time that ever happened. She also criticized others for judging their situation.

“Everybody makes mistakes. After this whole situation, you would think that we lived in a country full of people who never made a mistake,” she said.

Rice remains a free agent and can sign with any team. The 28-year-old had 6,180 rushing yards and 37 rushing touchdowns in six seasons with the Ravens, winning a Super Bowl in 2013.

(Photo Credit: Andrew Burton/Getty Images)