Former Tennessee teacher asks for sentencing delay in student sex case

Tad Cummins (Photo: Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Former Tennessee teacher Tad Cummins is asking for a 60-day delay in his sentencing hearing, claiming the federal government is making false accusations against him.

Cummins, who pleaded guilty in April to taking a 15-year-old student to California to have sex, says his attorneys need more time and evidence to make sure false claims aren’t held against him when he’s sentenced. Cummins was at the center of a nationwide manhunt in 2017.

His public defender argues he hasn’t had enough time to review his pre-sentencing report. The motion to continue the case alleges the report claims Cummins used violence and threats of force to coerce the girl into running away with him. His attorney argues there are serious factual changes that will significantly alter the advisory guidelines at his sentencing.

The motion says the allegations could raise the guidelines from a low mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years, to the harshest sentence: Life in prison. His attorney says more time is needed to investigate the claims, so they can be proven false.

Cummins’s attorney is asking federal prosecutors to hand over recorded interviews of the victim.

He’s currently scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 5.

Federal prosecutors filed a motion late Wednesday asking that if a continuance is granted it only be pushed back by 30 days. The prosecution also noted that the federal government opposes releasing recorded statements from the victim because they say the victim has a right to privacy.

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