Calling Ronald W. Price's actions an "abomination and a disgrace," an Anne Arundel County prosecutor said yesterday he would seek the maximum penalty of 56 years in prison for the former Northeast High School teacher convicted of having sex with students.
Price "sexually exploited vulnerable, impressionable young women," Assistant State's Attorney William C. Mulford II said in a sentencing memo filed yesterday. "And the evidence shows he's been doing it at that school for the past 11 years."
Mr. Mulford said that the nature of Price's crimes, their impact on his victims and the 48-year-old teacher's lack of remorse make it imperative that the harshest sentence be imposed.
Price is due to be sentenced Thursday by Circuit Judge Eugene M. Lerner. He was convicted Sept. 9 of three counts of child sexual abuse and other charges after a trial in which students testified to having sex with him on auditorium catwalks, in teachers' offices and back-stage dressing rooms.
Before his trial, Price admitted on national television having sex with students. At the trial he testified that he was unsure that having sex with his students was a crime when he had the relationships.
His wife, Patricia Price, is a former student who had an affair with him when he was her teacher.
Since his conviction, Price has been held without bond at the Anne Arundel County Detention Center.
His attorney, Timothy F. Umbreit, said he would try to present his client's positive side at sentencing.
But Mr. Mulford said the maximum penalty should be imposed to send a message that "child abusers will be firmly dealt with and severely punished."
"Parents must not worry and fear that someone will prey upon their children at school," Mr. Mulford wrote.
In addition to the child abuse counts, Mr. Price was convicted of three counts of unnatural and perverted sexual practices and a fourth-degree sex offense.