NASHVILLE, Tenn. — May 18, 2017, 7:57 PM ET

Tennessee teacher indicted on sex, obstruction charges

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A teacher who led police on a nationwide manhunt after taking a 15-year-old student has been indicted on federal charges, federal prosecutors said Thursday.

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.

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.

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.

Afterward, a federal judge ordered the married teacher held, saying Cummins was a fight risk and a danger to the community.

If convicted, he faces a mandatory minimum of ten years in prison.

The teacher was arrested last month and the girl was found safe in a remote area of northern California following a tip from a man who recognized that they were wanted by police.

Cummins' attorney didn't immediately respond to an email seeking comment. He also faces state charges of aggravated kidnapping and sexual contact with a minor.

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  • Theodore McGregor

    He's a nasty em effer. He was in a position of trust with that girl, and she was not old enough to consent. He's gross. It's clear that he would run if released. I hope he stays in jail until he's transferred to prison for a very long time.

  • TexasVulcan

    Giving teachers a bad name...

  • Skye

    Well I'm glad to know they had sex and how much. /s Yuck!

  • John Springer

    If he were a female teacher and student a male, short sentence , if any, then a lifetime movie.

  • John Springer

    No wonder we score so low on education compared to other industrial countries.

  • USAF Retired

    I don't know how this guy reasoned within himself that he was going to get away with this crime, especially by kayaking to Mexico. Not sure what his wife is doing and I know marriage is supposed to be for better or worse, but if I were in her shoes, I'd have filed those divorce papers as soon as I heard what he did.

  • Jimmy Boy

    He's getting more than 10 years, I can tell you that right now! His life is over, he'll die in federal prison.

  • Noon

    Kayaking to Tijuana. Oh that's a great life.

  • gravegirl

    such a disturbing story, disgusting perverted old man

  • Juggles

    I am waiting for the report that she is pregnant... sex most nights over the 38 day ordeal puts ovulation in the time frame and I doubt either were taking precautionary measures...