Additional charges levied against Abington High teacher
New complaint cites ‘similar conduct’ with former students
ABINGTON >> A preliminary hearing for an Abington High School teacher accused of having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a student was continued Oct. 16 after additional charges were levied against him.
Under an amended criminal complaint, Thomas Kummer, 55, of the 400 block of Krewson Terrace, Willow Grove, is charged with one count each of sexual abuse of children, corruption of minors, two sections of endangering the welfare of children and 10 counts each of unlawful contact with a minor and institutional sexual assault of a minor. A charge of furnishing alcohol to minors was also added.
The revised affidavit of probable cause details how police began an investigation after receiving a report Sept. 26 from “a concerned citizen” that Kummer, a Latin teacher for more than 20 years at Abington Senior High, was involved in a sexual relationship with a student under age 18 at the school.
Kummer had been a chaperone for a trip to Italy in June in which the student participated.
A search of the minor victim’s phone and computer showed 290 messages between Kummer and the student, most romantic in nature. In an interview with police, the girl said she and Kummer drank alcohol together on the Italy trip and began texting each other daily in July.
The physical sexual contact with Kummer occurred on at least 10 occasions, primarily at his Willow Grove residence, where they sometimes drank beer together. The victim also reported sending Kummer a photo of herself in a bra.
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” and was considering fleeing. He had previously told the girl “I always have 2 emergency tickets to the Caribbean” and said he wanted to be on a plane with her.
During the investigation, police learned Kummer had “previously engaged in similar conduct” with female students or former students at the high school, one in 1999 and one in 2006, the complaint says.
Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney Alexandria MacMaster requested District Judge Juanita Price increase Kummer’s bail, set previously at $250,000 cash.
Referring to the new alleged victims’ claims, which are outside the statute of limitations, and “how in-depth the contact was” between Kummer and the student in the current case, MacMaster said Kummer was “a flight risk and danger to the community.”
Kummer’s attorney, Matthew Sedacca, said, “The commonwealth has his passport; he’s not going anywhere.” Kummer’s parents posted their house to a bail bondsman for the $250,000 bail, he said, and “he’s not going to leave his parents homeless as a result.”
Kummer will be living with his parents in Phoenixville, so he is unlikely to run into the victim by accident, Sedacca added.
Price said she would “leave bail where it is,” and noted conditions of the bail include that he have no contact with the victim or anyone under age 18 and have no use of a computer.
The preliminary hearing was continued to Oct. 26.