Arundel teacher facing sex abuse charges quits

June 02, 1993|By Dennis O'Brien and Carol L. Bowers | Dennis O'Brien and Carol L. Bowers,Staff Writers

Ronald Walter Price, the Northeast High social studies teacher and softball coach at in Pasadena who has admitted having sex with several former students, resigned yesterday.

Mr. Price, who had been collecting his $45,650 annual salary while appealing his suspension by school Superintendent C. Berry Carter II, resigned by way of a certified letter Friday. The letter was not opened until yesterday because of the Memorial Day holiday, said Jane Doyle, a spokeswoman for the Anne Arundel County Board of Education.

Timothy Umbreit, one of Mr. Price's attorneys, said he client resigned because he feared any statements made during an appeal hearing could be used against him in court proceedings.

The announcement of the Northeast High School teacher's resignation came several hours before a scheduled 5 p.m. school board hearing he had requested to appeal the superintendent's decision to suspend him and recommend his dismissal. The school board still must approve the resignation, an action which could come as early as today.

Superintendent Carter said he plans to ask state Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick to revoke Mr. Price's teaching certificate once court proceedings have ended.

Also yesterday, Mr. Price was ordered to appear before an Anne Arundel County Circuit Court judge this afternoon and explain why he failed to answer two telephone calls to his home last week, as required by his court-ordered home detention before his trial.

The former teacher, who has admitted on TV talk shows that he had sexual relations with students, will appear before Judge Raymond G. Thieme Jr. to explain why he missed the calls to his house from Detention Center officials Friday afternoon. Court records say Mr. Price missed a call at 12:57 p.m. Friday and a follow-up call a few moments later.

He answered a third call, at 1:04 p.m., according to a May 28 letter to Judge Thieme, who imposed the house arrest as an alternative to jail.

"When asked why he did not answer the two previous calls, he stated he was in his basement and claimed the phone did not ring," Molly Nussear, supervisor of the Criminal Justice Program, wrote.

Court records also show that Mr. Price violated terms of a court order allowing him to see a physician May 25 to have a blood test and examination for the human immunodeficiency virus. A May 25 letter from jail officials to Judge Thieme said Mr. Price had stopped off at the Brooklyn Park library about 3:30 p.m., on his way home from the doctor's office.

He called the jail when he returned home at 3:35 p.m. and later admitted to Ms. Nussear that he had stopped at the library, saying he wanted to copy medical records.

His attorney said yesterday that results of the HIV test were not yet available. The virus causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome.

Judge Thieme issued a bench warrant yesterday to have Mr. Price arrested, but the warrant was withdrawn after his attorneys requested the hearing instead.

"He's been called 10 to 15 times a day since he was arrested, and because he's 15 seconds late for one or two calls, he's arrested?" said Price attorney Jonathan S. Resnick. "The whole thing is just patently absurd."

He faces three counts each of child abuse and perverted sexual practices with three young women.

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