Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice won't have to go to trial for allegedly knocking out his then-fianceé in an Atlantic City elevator in February. Instead, he will be entered into a diversionary program, which will likely see him completing community service and going through some sort of educational program aimed at preventing future offenses.
Earlier this month, Rice pleaded not guilty to third-degree aggravated assault, and turned down a deal that would have put him on probation for one year and required him to attend anger management classes. Because Rice is a first-time offender, he was eligible for entry into a pre-trial intervention program. Prosecutors agreed that allowing Rice to enter the program was a better course of action than taking the case to trial.
This doesn't mean that Rice won't eventually be punished by the NFL, though. Roger Goodell's office has been quiet of late when it comes to bringing suspensions and fines down on players and owners who have run afoul of the league's personal conduct policy, but it's still possible that Rice will be facing a suspension once the season begins.