The former Tennessee schoolteacher accused of kidnapping one of his high school students will not be released from jail. A federal judge found probable cause to send the case to a grand jury on Friday.
Tad Cummins' had requested a pretrial release in a hearing in Nashville, according to Reuters. He faces a potential decade in prison if he is convicted on federal charges of bringing a minor across state lines for sex. In addition, the former teacher faces state charges of aggravated kidnapping and sexual contact with a minor.
Cummins was the subject of a nationwide manhunt after disappearing on March 13 with his 15-year-old student Elizabeth Thomas. The pair were found 38 days later in a remote cabin in northern California.
According to Reuters, the motion for release claimed Cummins was a Christian who taught Sunday school and had no criminal history.
"Mr. Cummins concedes that this case allegedly involves a minor victim. However, he adamantly rejects the notion that the events before the court are a crime of violence," the filing said. "Mr. Cummins never employed violence, force or threats. … At no time was the alleged victim held at gunpoint, hit or forcibly held. In fact, it appears that she desired to leave a broken home, and a school where she was a bullied outsider."
The Tennessean reported that Cummins turned to mouth "I love you" to his two daughters and relatives at Friday's hearing. The report did not say if Cummins' wife was present.
[Tennessee Bureau of Investigation]