A Tennessee high school teacher, charged with taking a student to a California commune to continue a sexual relationship, had his initial appearance in a Sacramento federal courtroom Monday.
U.S. District Court Judge Kendall J. Newman ruled Tad E. Cummins is a violent danger to society and a flight risk. Cummins is 50 years old. The U.S. Attorney's Office charges Cummins began a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old student, lied about it, stole his wife's car, and took the girl to Siskyiou County in northern California.
Benjamin Galloway is the Federal Public Defender assigned to the case. He argued that Cummins has no history of violence, threats, or coercion and that the 15-year-old "left of her own free will."
But, the judge ruled there were no combinations of bail or other restrictions that could ensure Cummins would not attempt to run again.
Cummins faces one federal charge in the case. He also faces charges in Maury County, Tennessee for the sexual relationship with the girl and with aggravated kidnapping.
The federal charge carries a 10 year minimum sentence and $250,000 fine if Cummins is convicted.