The video of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice clocking his then-fiancée in the face, knocking her unconscious, could be a "game-changer," criminal defense attorney Alana Yakovlev said Wednesday on Newsmax TV
’s "America’s Forum."
"Given the political pressure and the fact that the video surveillance has been released, that's a game-changer," she said. "They should launch a more thorough investigation at this point."
Before the video was made public, the NFL gave Rice a two-day suspension for the Feb. 15 incident which took place in an Atlantic City casino elevator and was captured on a surveillance camera. After TMZ posted the footage on its website this week, the
NFL suspended Rice immediately. The Ravens fired him.
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League Commissioner Roger Goodell
has said he mishandled the situation.
After punching Janay Palmer, who married Rice shortly after the incident, Rice is seen dragging her unconscious body out of the elevator.
A grand jury indicted Rice on third-degree aggravated assault charges but the case was resolved with Rice agreeing to a pretrial diversion program requiring him to attend counseling. Janay Rice signed off on the sentence. If Ray Rice complies, there will be no future legal ramifications, according to USA Today
Yakovlev said knowing about the assault and seeing it firsthand evoke very different emotions.
"When the public is able to have a visual presentation of what appears to be a brutal beating of a woman in an elevator who's knocked unconscious, that certainly is going to have a much different reaction from the public than a ‘he said, she said’ account of what transpired," she said.
Janay Rice’s public pleas for privacy are not uncommon for domestic violence victims, according to Yakovlev.
"But here it's a little bit more difficult when there's video exposure of what happened in that elevator," she said. "She is essentially trying to ask the public to stay out of it. As far as any prosecution is involved, that definitely hinges on her cooperation."
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