Two Price victims called 'sexually active' on TV sue lawyers

January 05, 1994|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,Staff Writer

Two victims of Ronald W. Price have sued the former Northeast High School teacher's lawyers for $12 million for claiming on national television that they weren't virgins when Price began affairs with them.

Timothy F. Umbreit, one of Price's lawyers, paused before answering a question from the studio audience on "Geraldo!" April 28, 1993. "Before you get to that question, we want to correct something here," he said, according to the suit. "None of them were virgins."

He also referred to the victims as "sexually active."

Gail Langellotto, 22, of Pasadena, and Samantha Urban, 27, of Glen Burnie, claim in a suit filed yesterday that Mr. Umbreit's comments "were made maliciously and with a reckless disregard for the truth."

The suit names as defendants Mr. Umbreit and his partner, Jonathan S. Resnick, alleging that Mr. Resnick is equally culpable because he never contested his partner's remarks during the show.

Price's lawyers did not identify either woman during the broadcast, and they have not been identified in other news reports.

Their lawyer, Sharon Grosfeld, did not respond when asked how the women could have been defamed if they were not identified. She did say that she will present evidence at the trial to show that both women suffered distress and mental anguish because of the comments.

Price admitted having sex with several students at the school since 1982. He was convicted of three counts of child sexual abuse in September and sentenced by Anne Arundel Circuit Judge Eugene M. Lerner to 26 years in prison.

Mr. Resnick said yesterday that he and his partner wouldn't comment on the suit before they had a chance to review it.

The suit seeks $4 million on each of three counts -- defamation, invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress -- to be split evenly between the women.

Assistant State's Attorney William Mulford II, who prosecuted the case, would not comment on the propriety of Mr. Umbreit's remarks but said they solidified the victims' resolve to go through with the trial rather than accept a plea agreement.

"I know for a fact that the comments devastated both women," he said.

All three of Price's victims have notified county attorneys that PTC they might sue for damages, claiming school officials were negligent, said David Plymyer, deputy county attorney.

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