Ronald W. Price, the Northeast High School teacher accused of having sex with students, was indicted yesterday on sexual child abuse charges involving three former students over 10 years.
During its regular meeting, the county grand jury issued three separate indictments charging Mr. Price with sexual child abuse, unnatural and perverted sex practices and a fourth-degree sex offense.
Mr. Price, 48, of the 200 block of W. Edgevale Road in Brooklyn Park, was still being held yesterday on house arrest.
Jonathan Resnick, his attorney, accused prosecutors of trying to "gag" his client, who has given several interviews and appeared twice on national television.
"This is being done intentionally to stop the public from knowing exactly what is going on," Mr. Resnick said. "At the preliminary hearing, Mr. Price and everyone else would be able to speak their piece."
State's Attorney Frank R. Weathersbee disputed Mr. Resnick's claim.
"He can talk all he wants," Mr. Weathersbee said. "Our District Court is overwhelmed with cases. The preliminary hearing is just an additional task we try to avoid. It's done constantly."
Mr. Price was charged last month with three counts of sexual child abuse, one involving a student at the high school this year and two involving graduates who came forward after the first charges were filed. The incidents involving the student this year occurred during school and on school property, charging documents said.
He has admitted to having consensual sex with the students, but claims he has an illness that he can't control and denies criminal responsibility.
Last week Mr. Price announced that he could have the AIDS virus and his attorneys have requested that he be allowed to leave his home to see a doctor for the test. Mr. Resnick said yesterday that no judge has ruled and that Mr. Price has not yet had the test.
Yesterday, a health department nurse and two nurses from the Board of Education's office on health issues were at Northeast High to provide information about AIDS to students.
Students have said that rumors about Mr. Price having sex with students had circulated in the school for years, and some parents have said they told school officials nearly two years ago they were concerned about the teacher's relationship with one student.
School officials have denied having any direct knowledge of Mr. Price's illness and have refused to comment on the case.