Tad Cummins Challenges Police Confession

The teacher who is in jail for kidnapping and brainwashing a student wants the court to throw out the confession he made to the police. He says the police coerced the confession. Cummins awaits trial on charges related to taking the student out of state and hiding her from her family and police.

Cummins claims that the police improperly worked with his now-estranged wife to get Cummins to admit that he had sex with his student. He says it was unfair for law enforcement to work with his wife. Cummins also claims that law enforcement said if he didn’t confess, they’d make sure he received a harsher sentence.

The attorney representing Cummins says that the police violated his constitutional rights. He says it’s among the worst cases of police misconduct that he’s ever witnessed in thirty years of criminal law practice. The attorney calls the case “one of the most aggravated cases of the trampling of constitutional rights” that he’s ever reviewed.

The U.S. Constitution says that the police can’t force people to testify or otherwise incriminate themselves. When the police violate a person’s Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, the statements that the person makes aren’t admissible against them in court. A person can lawfully refuse to answer questions from the police. If a person is in custody, the police can’t interrogate them without reading them their Miranda Rights. If the person asks for a lawyer, law enforcement must stop the interrogation.

Cummins’ victim was only 15 years old. Cummins told his wife that he was leaving for a while, but he did not tell his wife that he was leaving with the teen. The kidnapping prompted a nationwide search. Police found the pair in a remote cabin in California after more than five weeks on the run.

Cummins faces federal charges because he allegedly transported a minor across state lines. Federal officials say that he transported the minor with the intent to engage in illegal sexual conduct with the minor child. Cummins faces a long prison sentence if he’s convicted.

Cummins’ wife worked with the police to talk with Cummins. She says the police helped her arrange the conversations. Police say working with friends and family is a common law enforcement tactic.

If the police threatened Cummins with rape charges if he didn’t admit to consensual sex, Cummins’ statements may be considered involuntary. It’s okay for police to use trickery, but promises and threats violate the constitutional rights of the accused. Future court dates are pending in the case.

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