Ray Rice Celebrates Aggravated Assault Indictment by Marrying Victim

Ray Rice celebrated his aggravated assault indictment by marrying his victim.

Ray Rice celebrated his aggravated assault indictment by marrying his victim.

ESPN (“Sources: Ray Rice gets married”)

Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice and Janay Palmer were married Friday, one day after Rice was indicted by a grand jury on third-degree aggravated assault for allegedly striking Palmer unconscious, league sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

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 three-to-five-year sentence. Prosecutors say that the complaint against Palmer has been dismissed.

I’m not even going to try to fathom the psychology of this relationship but, to the extent that marriage is the sanctioning of a relationship by the state, it’s not at all obvious to me why this was allowed to go forward. Surely, a recent history of violence in the relationship should be a public policy exception.

FILED UNDER: Crime, Sports, , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. I am not aware of any legal authority that would allow the state to prevent the marriage from happening to be honest.

  2. Wr says:

    What a fun couple!

  3. al-Ameda says:

    The next time an ESPN analyst or a network broadcaster refers to Ray Rice (or any other athlete) as a ‘class act,’ remind me to check the crime statistics. We generally have no idea what these guys are like in their private lives.

  4. beth says:

    Sounds like another couple that will be using an anger management book and a knife in the near future.

  5. James Pearce says:

    to the extent that marriage is the sanctioning of a relationship by the state, it’s not at all obvious to me why this was allowed to go forward.

    In order to bankrupt him with the eventual divorce…..

  6. rudderpedals says:

    So Ray, do you still beat your wife?

  7. Dave D says:

    But at least he isn’t marrying another man because think of what that would mean for the institution of marriage.

  8. Tyrell says:

    Another victim becomes a volunteer. Both should be institutionalized. Hopefully his NFL days are over.

  9. Tyrell says:

    @Doug Mataconis: But there needs to be at least some requirements of psychological counseling, therapy, monitoring, even some sort of cooling off period before they would be allowed to be married. And after they marry there should be close monitoring.
    It is a shame that there is so much domestic violence these days: girlfriend/spousal abuse and abuse of children. It is a disgrace all of the shelters and homes that are required to protect women and children now adays. What is going on?

  10. @rudderpedals:

    To be fair, it sounds like she beats him back.

  11. @Tyrell: Whoa, whoa, whoa, so the evil big government should be able to stop someone from exercising one of the rights because it might be dangerous?

  12. rudderpedals says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Sure, why not? The masochist marries the sadist and they live happily ever after.

  13. CSK says:

    I don’t know how much money Rice has, but perhaps Palmer is hoping for a hefty settlement/alimony payout after the divorce in a few years’ time. She’s just doing her version of financial planning. It could be as simple as that.

  14. walt moffett says:


    Good possibility, another speculation, spousal immunity.

  15. Grumpy Realist says:

    Reminds me of a comment made by I-forget-who (Dickens?):
    “it is very good that Mr. and Mrs. Carlyle are married, so that only two people are unhappy rather than four.”

  16. Tyrell says:

    In this case a marriage puts this lady’s life at risk. This is an unusual situation in that this Rice character has been indicted by the jury, so it would seem perfectly reasonable for the presiding authority of this so-called “marriage” to have put the brakes on and had some sort of cooling off period to look into the situation and let both people think things over; see how the trial comes out. This person should lose their authority to marry people, if they were aware of the situation. Hopefully the NFL and the team will also take a look at what happens. Whenever there is a domestic violence case, social services almost always gets involved, even sending in people to closely monitor the situation for a period of time.
    It is just awful what is going on today with all of these domestic violence cases. Police hate getting into those things. It seems like it is increasing, we see it on the news all the time: shootings, assaults, and injuries. It is just depressing.

  17. @Tyrell: So, people lose their rights before they’ve even been convicted of a crime now?

  18. @Tyrell: And, as Doug previously pointed out, marriage laws usually don’t give leeway to the clerk completing the certificate to deny a couple a marriage license but they don’t like the cut of someone’s jib.

  19. Tyrell says:

    @Timothy Watson: No, they could get married by a justice of the peace. I doubt if any church pastors would marry them if they knew the story. And Dr. Phil would probably disapprove of them being together.