Request to dismiss Price case denied

September 03, 1993|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,Staff Writer

An Anne Arundel County Circuit Court judge denied yesterday a request to dismiss child sex abuse charges against Ronald Walter Price and ordered prosecutors to produce a state psychiatric report on his sanity by noon today, setting the stage for the trial to start Tuesday.

Judge Eugene M. Lerner said the state-mandated report by psychiatrists from the Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center must be provided to the former Pasadena school teacher's lawyers so they can prepare a defense. The report will be sealed.

An earlier psychological report determined that Mr. Price is competent to stand trial.

He is charged with having sex with three of his students at Northeast High School. He has entered an insanity defense to two counts and pleaded not guilty to the third.

In a brief hearing yesterday, Judge Lerner denied a motion by the defense to dismiss charges because county police had overstepped their bounds in gathering evidence. Timothy F. Umbreit and Jonathan S. Resnick, the lawyers, also claimed that prosecutors have not given them enough details about the locations, times and dates of the alleged offenses to mount a defense.

Prosecutors have said in charging documents only that Mr. Price had sex with the victims within given months or years, but will not specify times or dates when the sex occurred, Mr. Resnick said.

Mr. Resnick also said that county police Sgt. Robert Tice confiscated 26 pages of Mr. Price's notes about his life, his teaching and his relationships with students that were prepared at Mr. Resnick's request, violating attorney-client privilege.

The judge ordered Sergeant Tice to appear in court Tuesday morning to respond to the complaint.

The judge also ordered that the trial, expected to last three days, be held in two stages, one to decide Mr. Price's guilt or innocence and a second to determine his sanity.

Attorneys for Mr. Price, who has admitted on nationally televised talk shows that he had sexual relations with students, appeared eager to negotiate a plea agreement with prosecutors yesterday.

Defense lawyers said Mr. Price has offered to supply names of other teachers who had sex with students in exchange for a lesser charge.

State's Attorney Frank R. Weathersbee said after the court hearing that he would take any names Mr. Price offered but would make no deals on a plea.

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