Tad Cummins indicted by federal grand jury

A federal grand jury indicted Tad Cummins on two charges.

NASHVILLE (WSMV) - A federal grand jury has indicted Tad Cummins on two charges.

Cummins, 50, is charged with transporting a minor across state lines for the purpose of engaging in criminal sexual conduct and obstruction of justice. An FBI agent testified recently that the 50-year-old health science teacher told authorities that he had sex with the girl most nights during the 38 days he was on the run with her. The teacher had tried to take the girl out of the country by trying to kayak his way with her from San Diego to Mexico, according to that testimony. The teacher gave up that idea and turned back because the waters were treacherous, the FBI agent said at detention hearing.

Cummins is accused of leaving Columbia, Tenn., with his 15-year-old former student on March 13. Cummins was arrested in California on April 20.

At the hearing, prosecutors had tried to show that Cummins abused his position of authority and preyed upon a vulnerable girl who had been abused at home and bullied at school. The teacher's lawyer, however, had argued that he never took the girl against her will and did not harm her.

He was returned to Middle Tennessee earlier this month and appeared for a detention hearing last Friday. Afterward, a federal judge ordered the married teacher held, saying Cummins was a fight risk and a danger to the community.

If convicted, Cummins faces 10 years to life in prison.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.



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