UPDATE: Preliminary Hearing for accused kidnapper Tad Cummins is scheduled for May 12


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

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Tad Cummins, the man accused of kidnapping a 15-year-old student, is back in Tennessee for a federal court hearing.

WHNT News 19's Chelsea Brentzel was at the courthouse to see the transportation van from Henderson County, Kentucky. That's where Cummins was transported to yesterday from California ahead of today's hearing.

Cummins was being held in federal custody in Sacramento after he and the 15-year-old at the center of the AMBER Alert were found in California.

The 50-year-old is charged with crossing state lines with a minor with the intent to have sex. He is also facing state charges of aggravated kidnapping and sexual contact with a minor.

In a new motion to deny bail, U.S. attorney Jack Smith claims "Defendant admitted to law enforcement, as well as other witnesses, that he engaged in multiple sex acts with the victim in numerous locations over the thirty-eight day period."

Cummins was found in a remote area of Northern California with his 15-year-old student after being on the run for 38 days.

Tad Cummins now has a court appointed lawyer and will be back in court for a preliminary hearing on Friday, May 12 at 1 p.m.

Cummins sister and daughters were in the courtroom.

They didn't want to comment, but did say they were supporting him.

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Rachel Irby says the wheels of justice are starting to turn.

"There's no explanation of someone who is in a position of authority taking advantage of his student especially someone who was as vulnerable as she was. So, it's time for justice and I'm looking forward to seeing that take place. It's the beginning of the healing process," said Irby.

Rachel Irby is an advocate for sex trafficking victims.

While this isn't a sex trafficking case, she said what comes out in court can affect the victims recovery process.

"As long as everybody from all different angles are being sensitive to what her needs are and limiting her access that she has toward TV or anything like that I think that she should be okay," Irby explained. "But no matter what knowing that he's close by, knowing that he's going to be going through this proceeding is going to be difficult for her."

She said what Tad Cummins does in court can affect the victim.

That's why Irby hopes Cummins owns up to what he's accused of doing. "Now that he's here it's going to start that final chapter in all this so it's a big deal for sure."

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