Possible New Charges For Tad Cummins Linked To Phone Call Evidence

Posted at 5:41 PM, May 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-11 18:41:35-04

The former teacher accused of kidnapping a teen and taking her to California may soon face more charges.

Tad Cummins was brought back from California to answer for his alleged crimes.

More than a few people have wondered: Why has Tad Cummins not been charged with statutory rape in federal or state court?

It's a good question, and now it's looking more and more like that will happen. Here's why:

"I said, 'Well, did you sleep with her?' and he said, 'Yes I did,' and I didn't want any details," said Cummins soon-to-be ex-wife, Jill. She spoke by phone to her husband in federal detention in Sacramento. That was just after he was arrested in California.

Jill said he admitted to sleeping with the 15-year-old teen he's accused of kidnapping from Maury County.

She could testify as to what her husband told her, but hearing Cummins say it himself would be even better. All calls from inmates in detention are recorded, and NewsChannel 5 has learned prosecutors sought those recordings.

The plan has been to use Cummins' own alleged words to pursue a new charge of statutory rape. That will be paired with whatever police learn from the teenage victim.

"They are interviewing her and doing forensic analysis to see if they get evidence and get her side of the story, and from that side of the story, you could see more crimes charged in this case and submitted to the grand jury on down the road," said NewsChannel 5 Legal Analyst Nick Leonardo.

District Attorney Brent Cooper said he stands ready now to move on statutory rape charges, and that may come soon.

For now, he said the state will take a backseat to the U.S. Attorney.

Cummins will be back in federal court on Friday. He's currently charged with transporting a minor across state lines to have sex, and those recorded phone calls figure to play a part in the prosecution.

Much of the case against Cummins could hinge on what his teen victim tells prosecutors. It's not clear what -- if anything -- she's shared with them about the six weeks she spent with Cummins on the road.

Cummins has also been facing state charges for sexual misconduct and kidnapping.