Tad Cummins, former Tennessee teacher accused of abducting teen girl, indicted on federal charges
Tad Cummins, the former teacher accused of abducting a teenage student from Tennessee and taking her to California, was indicted Thursday on two federal charges.
Court documents said Cummins was indicted on a charge of transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activities, which has a maximum sentence of life in prison; and a second charge of destruction, alteration or falsification of records in a federal investigation, which has a maximum sentence of 20 years.
The second charge is related to his alleged destruction of two phones to impede the investigation, court documents said. Each count is punishable by a fine of up to $250,000.
Cummins, 50, and the 15-year-old girl went missing March 13 from Columbia, Tennessee, sparking a nationwide search.
He had been suspended in February from the local high school after a student reported seeing him and the teenage girl kissing in a classroom, authorities said.
They traveled cross-country and were found April 20 at a remote cabin in Northern California, where they’d been posing as husband and wife.
Cummins also faces state charges of sexual contact with a minor and aggravated kidnapping, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said last month. He has pleaded not guilty to the state charges.