Tennessee teacher indicted on sex, obstruction charges

Alvin Kelly
May 19, 2017

A federal grand jury has charged Tad Cummins with taking a minor across state lines for sex and for obstruction of justice, according to a statement from Jack Smith, the acting U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee.

According to CBS affiliate WTVF, Cummins was indicted on charges of transporting a minor across state lines for the goal of engaging in criminal sexual content and obstruction of justice.

Cummins faces up to life in prison if convicted of the federal charges against him, and a minimum of 10 years.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said in April that Cummins also faces charges of sexual contact with a minor and aggravated kidnapping, according to CNN.

Cummins and Elizabeth Thomas had been the subject of a nationwide search by law enforcement, after leaving the Columbia, Tenn. area on March 13, 2017.

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Authorities also recovered two loaded handguns and a collection of stones marked with the names of locations where the two had presumably stopped during their travels.

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.

An attorney for Cummins did not immediately return a request for comment on the indictment.

The girl's father has said he believed his daughter had been "brainwashed" by Cummins.

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