High school teacher ar­rested

Po­lice charge Latin teacher for al­leged re­la­tion­ship with stu­dent

Times Chronicle & Public Spirit - - FRONT PAGE - By Linda Finarelli

ABING­TON >> A Latin teacher at Abing­ton Se­nior High School was ar­rested Sun­day on charges re­gard­ing in­ap­pro­pri­ate sex­ual con­tact with a stu­dent.

Thomas Kum­mer, 55, of the 400 block of Krew­son Ter­race, Wil­low Grove, has been charged with felony counts of pho­tograph­ing a sex act, un­law­ful con­tact with a mi­nor, cor­rup­tion of mi­nors, en­dan­ger­ing the wel­fare of chil­dren and in­sti­tu­tional sex­ual as­sault of a mi­nor in con­nec­tion with in­ci­dents that oc­curred start­ing in July of this year, ac­cord­ing the crim­i­nal com­plaint.

Po­lice be­gan an in­ves­ti­ga­tion af­ter re­ceiv­ing a re­port Sept. 26 from “a con­cerned cit­i­zen” that Kum­mer, a teacher for more than 20 years at Abing­ton Se­nior High, was in­volved in a sex­ual re­la­tion­ship with a stu­dent at the school, Abing­ton po­lice said.

An in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­vealed that an on­go­ing sex­ual re­la­tion­ship be­tween Kum­mer and a stu­dent un­der age 18 be­gan in July, po­lice said.

Kum­mer was a chap­er­one for a trip to Italy in June or­ga­nized through the school in which the stu­dent par­tic­i­pated, the af­fi­davit says.

“The sex­ual con­tact be­tween Kum­mer and the stu­dent oc­curred on nu­mer­ous oc­ca­sions in­side Kum­mer’s ve­hi­cle at var­i­ous lo­ca­tions in Abing­ton Town­ship and at his res­i­dence in the Wil­low Grove sec­tion of Up­per More­land,” po­lice said.

The vic­tim’s mother was con­tacted by the po­lice, who searched the ju­ve­nile’s phone and found mul­ti­ple semi-nude pho­tos of the vic­tim on it, one in­clud­ing a ma­ture male leg and foot near the vic­tim, the com­plaint says. A search of the vic­tim’s com­puter showed at least

Among the mes­sages found on the vic­tim’s phone, there were texts from Kum­mer in­struct­ing the vic­tim to “delete ev­ery­thing.”

290 pages of mes­sages be­tween Kum­mer and the vic­tim, “most of which were ro­man­tic in na­ture,” it says.

Among the mes­sages found on the vic­tim’s phone, there were texts from Kum­mer in­struct­ing the vic­tim to “delete ev­ery­thing,” pro­fess­ing his love for the child, and stat­ing, “I al­ways have 2 emer­gency tick­ets to the Caribbean,” it says.

When Kum­mer learned Sept. 30 that the po­lice had taken the stu­dent’s phone and lap­top, he asked the vic­tim if the mes­sages be­tween them had been deleted and in­di­cated he was “com­pletely freaked out,” con­sid­er­ing flee­ing and wanted the vic­tim to go with him, the com­plaint says.

Kum­mer was ar­rested with­out in­ci­dent at his home Sept. 30, po­lice said.

He was ar­raigned be­fore Dis­trict Judge Juanita Price Oct. 1 and taken to Mont­gomery County Cor­rec­tional Fa­cil­ity in lieu of $250,000 cash bail. A pre­lim­i­nary hear­ing is sched­uled for Oct. 4.

The school dis­trict is­sued a let­ter Sept. 30 from As­sis­tant Su­per­in­ten­dent Jef­frey Fecher ac­knowl­edg­ing the ar­rest and stat­ing that Kum­mer was im­me­di­ately sus­pended.

The dis­trict and staff are co­op­er­at­ing with the po­lice, the let­ter says, and asks any­one with rel­e­vant in­for­ma­tion to con­tact De­tec­tive Cindy Pet­ti­nato at 267-536-1098.

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