BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Ravens star Ray Rice is facing a more serious charge after allegedly striking his fiancee. Now, facing the threat of jail time, his image is also at stake.
Monique Griego has more on the potential impact for Rice and the Ravens.READ MORE: Booster Shots Are Encouraged Now More Than Ever
While the team and players have come out in support of Ray, he hasn’t talked about what happened at all. According to some PR experts, that could be hurting his reputation even more.
It’s the video that sent Ray Rice’s good guy reputation into a tailspin. Atlantic City hotel surveillance footage obtained by TMZ shows the Ravens star dragging his seemingly unconscious fiancee out of a casino elevator.
Police say the two hit each other during a fight on February 15. Rice’s blow knocked Janay Palmer out.
After first being charged with simple assault, this week, a grand jury indicted him on aggravated assault.
“I don’t think the vast majority of the public is going to make a big differentiation,” said John Maroon, Maroon PR. “In their mind, Ray reportedly hit his girlfriend and knocked her unconscious.”
Marketing and PR expert John Maroon says the change in charges is damaging because it puts Rice back in the spotlight.
The indictment says the running back “knowingly caused significant bodily injury” to Palmer under circumstances “manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life.”
To View Full Indictment Against Ray Rice, Click Here.READ MORE: The Ravens Gambled And It Cost Them
Charges against Palmer were dropped.
Rice hasn’t spoken publicly about what happened. Maroon says, while it’s not the best PR move, lawyers can see things differently.
“They tell the guy you got to lay low, you got a court case, you can go to prison,” Maroon said. “In the meantime, the reputation is taking a beating.”
The Ravens released a statement, saying: “This is part of the due process for Ray. We know there is more to Ray Rice than this one incident.”
With the team sticking by him, Maroon feels Rice can come back from this.
“Once it is addressed, once he does talk about it, he’s going to have a hard time on the road. But here in Baltimore, if he performs on the field, he’ll get past this,” said Maroon.
Rice’s attorney tells our media partner, The Baltimore Sun, neither Rice nor Palmer want to go through with this prosecution. He says they have a daughter, are still together and in counseling.
If convicted, Rice could face three to five years behind bars. The NFL is also looking into the matter.MORE NEWS: Maryland's Health Department Compromised After Cyberattack
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