Following the release of new footage that seems to show now former-Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice punching his then-fiancée in the face, it’s important to remember that the prosecutor who let Rice off with a slap on the wrist is now trying to throw the book at a young mother of two who tried to protect herself and her family from violence.
Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain approved an application for admitting Rice into New Jersey’s Pre-Trial Intervention program that allowed the NFL star to avoid jail time. Instead, Rice has to undergo counseling and will be immediately incarcerated if he does something else wrong.
New Jersey Superior Court Judge Michael Donio issued the final sentencing, accepting Rice into the program.
Rice received the plum deal in part because he was a first-time offender. McClain said at the time of the sentencing that the “decision was arrived at after careful consideration of the information contained in Mr. Rice’s application in light of all of the facts gathered during the investigation.”
Was the video released Monday part of the “facts gathered”? McClain’s office wouldn’t tell the Washington Examiner.
“The office does not release details of what is, or is not, part of the investigatory record in a criminal prosecution, except in its proper venue,” said Jay McKeen, public information officer for the Atlantic County prosecutor’s office. “We are not commenting beyond what has been provided in prior media releases and the court record.”
Meanwhile, McClain is working to put 27-year-old mother of two Shaneen Allen — herself a first-time offender — into jail for at least three years, maybe even a decade.
Allen didn’t punch anyone out in an elevator. She simply didn't know that her Pennsylvania concealed-carry permit was not valid in New Jersey.
In October 2013, Allen was pulled over for a minor traffic offense. She dutifully informed the officer of her gun and presented her concealed-carry permit. She was arrested.
Allen had a gun because she had been robbed twice in 2013 and feared for her children. Following her arrest, and McClain’s insistence that she face the maximum possible penalty for her oversight, Allen reportedly lost her job.
Judge Donio is also tied to the Allen case. He accepted McClain’s decision to deny Allen entry into the same pre-trial program Rice was allowed to enter.
Donio’s office did not immediately provide a statement to the Examiner.
Update: Donio spokeswoman Winnie Comfort told the Examiner that enrollment in the Pre-Trial Intervention program is at the prosecutor's discretion and directed further inquiry to the prosecutor's office.