State seeks to stop film profit to Price ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY

July 27, 1993|By Carol L. Bowers | Carol L. Bowers,Staff Writer

Maryland's attorney general is demanding to see a copy of the movie contract signed by a former Anne Arundel County teacher who has admitted to having sex with students.

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr. said he filed suit in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court to prevent Ronald Walter Price, who taught at Northeast High School until spring, from profiting from his alleged crimes.

"We have requested, by phone and by letter, that the contract be examined by us, and we've been refused a chance to see the contract," Mr. Curran said.

At issue is whether the contract would allow Mr. Price to profit from any alleged crimes -- something Maryland law specifically prohibits.

"The Maryland law means I can get a copy of a contract when an individual is charged with a crime," Mr. Curran said.

L "I don't have to wait for a conviction to see who benefits."

Under the law, any profits made would be placed in an escrow account, to be used if any suits were filed against the accused.

Jonathan Resnick and Timothy Umbreit, Mr. Price's lawyers, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

A hearing on Mr. Curran's request is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Aug. 5.

Also yesterday, Carolyn Roeding, president of the Anne Arundel County Council of PTAs, asked to see a copy of the draft report filed last week by state investigators looking into the Price affair. State schools Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick appointed the committee last month.

"Last week, a draft copy of this investigation was given to the Anne Arundel County state's attorney's office for review prior to release," Ms. Roeding wrote. "It has come to my attention that this report is in the process of being 'watered down' to preclude pretrial publicity. It is our feeling that a watered-down report might heighten rather than lessen pretrial publicity."

County State's Attorney Frank Weathersbee said last week that he "could not sanction the release of the report because it would generate inappropriate pretrial publicity" between now and Sept. Mr. Price's scheduled court date.

Mr. Price was arrested April 8 after a 16-year-old in his social

studies class said the teacher was having an affair with her.

Shortly thereafter, two Northeast graduates came forward to press charges, saying they, too, had sexual relationships with the teacher while they were students at the school.

Since his arrest, the Brooklyn Park resident has appeared on national television shows, including "A Current Affair" and "Geraldo."

But regardless of the defendant's actions, Mr. Weathersbee said, his duty as state's attorney is "to keep pretrial publicity to a minimum."

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