Geraldo Rivera has been forced to tape an episode of his syndicated Tribune Entertainment talkshow in two parts after Baltimore authorities confiscated his primary guest.
Police denied charges from the guest’s attorneys that the move was an attempt to keep the defendant in a teacher-student sex case from making embarrassing allegations against school district officials.
Baltimore high school instructor Ronald Walter Price, 49, was charged Tuesday with sexually abusing two students and held without bail, just a day before he was scheduled to make an appearance on “Geraldo” to discuss a case involving sexual relations with another teenage student.
His lawyers claimed the latest charges were part of an effort to gag their client, who maintains that he told school officials before the alleged incidents occurred that he had a “disorder” that included a tendency to marry his students (two of his three wives were his onetime pupils).
The attorneys have also alleged that school officials condone sex between other teachers and students, but the district’s administrators deny those claims.
“It is well known that our client was to go on TV and tell his side of the story in a controlled format,” attorney Jonathan Resnick was quoted in the Baltimore Sun. “And what do they do? They bring charges that are seven years old and they deny him bail.”
A judge released Price without bail yesterday, but authorities intended to hold him for at least four hours to process his paper work — just long enough to keep the suspended teacher from making his appointment on the “Geraldo” episode, which is scheduled to air next week.
Since many of the other guests involved in the case were only available Wednesday, Rivera taped a portion of the episode then but decided to save the lion’s share with Price for today.
This marks the second time in two months that guests skedded for “Geraldo” have been either arrested or detained prior to a show.
The Nassau County district attorney in New York recently detained two scheduled guests as material witnesses in the Amy Fisher statutory rape case.