New disturbing details of the Ray Rice domestic violence scandal have been released from an independent investigation by ESPN’s Outside the Lines, and the most horrific is that the Ravens were adamantly trying to cover up the incident. In fact, Ravens president Dick Cass seems to be one of the most avid influencers in making sure the video of what occurred inside the elevator was never revealed to the public eye.
Ultimately, on April 1, the Revel, under subpoena, provided Diamondstein with a copy, and he received the same copy from prosecutors on April 5. By phone, Diamondstein told Cass that the video was “f—ing horrible” and that it was clear “Ray knocked her the f— out.” The lawyer advised Cass that the video, if released, would amount to a public relations disaster for the Ravens and for his client.
Cass listened carefully but never asked Diamondstein to provide the Ravens with a copy of the video — nor, for that matter, did anyone from the NFL ask Diamondstein for a copy, several sources say.
Instead, Cass strategized on the best next move for Rice in court, agreeing with Diamondstein that the video would almost certainly become public if the Rice case went to trial. Cass agreed with Diamondstein that getting Rice accepted into New Jersey’s pretrial intervention program, which is for first-time offenders charged with nonviolent crimes, would be the best outcome for Rice and the Ravens. It not only would keep Rice out of jail but also would fortify the team’s argument to Goodell that Rice should be given a suspension of fewer games because he had entered a diversionary program.
Back in Atlantic County, New Jersey, Diamondstein was wrangling with prosecutors to get the pretrial intervention program for Rice. Initially, prosecutors rejected it as an option. But Diamondstein pressed, and, by early May, he had put together a package of nearly 30 letters of support, from Rice’s former Rutgers University coach Greg Schiano, friends and teammates, even one from Ashton Dean, an 8-year-old boy from Harford County, Maryland, who had a rare disease and for whom Rice had helped raise money. The leaders of the Ravens also wrote a letter on Rice’s behalf. In a letter to Diamondstein dated May 9, Cass, Newsome and Harbaugh extolled Rice’s contributions to the community, charities and his team.
Four days later, first assistant prosecutor Diane Ruberton signed off on the pretrial intervention program. And on May 20, Rice and his wife marched into the courtroom of Atlantic County Superior Court Judge Michael A. Donio, who granted Rice’s entry into the diversionary program. If Rice completed the one-year program, including attending anger management classes, the court would dismiss the felony aggravated assault charge. The arrest would remain on Rice’s record, but without a conviction. PTI is an unusual result for defendants charged with aggravated assault in the third degree, defense lawyers and New Jersey domestic violence legal advocates say; less than 1 percent of all assault and aggravated assault cases in New Jersey are resolved by PTI, according to data obtained by “Outside the Lines.”
Clearly, Dick Cass was more concerned with the financial integrity of the Ravens organization than doing the right thing.