Accused teacher asks for AIDS test ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY

April 29, 1993|By Kris Antonelli and Carol L. Bowers | Kris Antonelli and Carol L. Bowers,Staff Writers

Sex, conflicting statements and videotape.

That could be the title of a screenplay describing the Northeast High School sex scandal that continued to unfold this week.

On "Geraldo!" -- which aired yesterday in Washington, D.C., and will air today on Channel 2 in Baltimore -- social studies teacher and softball coach Ronald Walter Price nodded his head to indicate "yes" when a member of the audience asked if he had practiced "safe sex" with his students. Mr. Price continued nodding yes when asked by host Geraldo Rivera whether he had used condoms.

But hours after the show aired yesterday, his lawyers said they had filed a motion in District Court to allow their client, under house arrest since last week, to see a doctor who would test him for the AIDS virus.

Attorney Jonathan Resnick said his client does not think he has the virus. Mr. Resnick said his client misinterpreted the "safe sex" question.

"He thought they were strictly talking about birth control, not birth control and social diseases," said Mr. Resnick. "The public's safety is our first concern in asking for the test."

Mr. Price has been charged with three counts of sexual child abuse, one involving a current student at the high school and two involving women graduates who came forward after the first charges were filed.

Since his first arrest, Mr. Price has appeared in various television interviews, including segments aired on WJZ-TV and "A Current Affair," along with an hourlong appearance on "Geraldo!" A review of the shows reveals other discrepancies.

On "A Current Affair," which aired April 21, Mr. Price said school officials contacted him in 1989 after a teen-ager took her complaint to a Northeast High administrator. He admitted on the show that he had talked the young woman out of pressing charges.

But on yesterday's "Geraldo!", Mr. Price twice said school officials never contacted him about the 1989 complaint. When Mr. Rivera asked whether a formal complaint had been made in 1989, Mr. Price replied, "That's what I understand." But he said school officials did not approach him to discuss the issue.

Yet Mr. Resnick said yesterday that Northeast High officials notified county police about the 1989 complaint, and that then-principal Joseph B. Cardamone called Mr. Price to the office. During that meeting, Mr. Cardamone told Mr. Price the incident "does not make the school look good," according to Mr. Resnick.

Mr. Cardamone, now retired, refused to comment.

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