Man accused of molesting child
Cummings was arrested Saturday.
A cross-country search for a Texas man ended over the weekend in the Bay area.
The case started in the town of Waxahachie, Texas, south of Dallas-Fort Worth. Police there accuse Ronni Lynn Cummings, 39, of lewd and lascivious acts on a child.
Waxahachie police tracked Cummings to Largo in Pinellas County, where he lived with his mother at the Chaparral Apartments, 601 Rosery Road N.E., for the last two weeks. They notified Largo police, asking them to take Cummings into custody.
“The time frame was over a seven-year period on a particular child,” said Largo Police Sgt. John Trebino. “Not only was he accused of [molesting the child], he’s also accused of taking sexually explicit pictures of this molestation and putting them on the Internet for sale. This obviously is a person we don’t want out and about, let alone in Largo.”
Texas authorities confirmed the allegations, but Cummings’ mother, Bonita Dunn, said it’s hard to believe. Dunn said her son has been going to church and helping her take care of her three young children while visiting.
“It seems impossible to us that he would have done this,” Dunn said. “I want this to get cleared up, so we hope he’s found innocent so he can come home.”
Cummings was not home when Largo police arrived at his mother’s apartment, but Dunn volunteered to call him. The phone number was
Dunn helped police find her son.
traced to an address in Hernando County. The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office took him into custody Saturday.
Investigators said there are no allegations or evidence of Cummings harming children in the Bay area. They did confiscate a computer he was using to set up a web site. The subject matter of that site is not known.
Cummings is in the Hernando County Jail waiting to be extradited back to Texas. He faces charges of aggravated sexual assault on a child, a first-degree felony in Texas. If found guilty, he could spend five years to life in prison.
Cummings’ mother said her son wasn’t hiding out in Largo. He was going in and out and visiting with friends, but Texas authorities said the reason he left Texas was because he knew they were looking for him.
Texas fugitive accused of child molestation, prostitution
Article published on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2006
LARGO – Bonita Dunn knows little about a son she has seen only twice since her divorce 35 years ago in North Carolina. Dunn helped the police track down her son, Ronnie Lynn Cummings, 39, who was a fugitive from Texas, where he was accused of having sexual relations with a 12-year-old child for the past seven years.
He was arrested Jan. 28 in Hernando County where he is being held without bail pending extradition to Texas. “I’m hoping my son is innocent,” said Dunn, who lives in an apartment on Rosery Road, on Monday. “We (her family) abide by the law. We don’t break the law and we trust in the courts to do what’s right.”
Allegations against Cummings were reported to police in early December, according to Waxahachie, Texas Police Lt. Cyndy Wiser. She said the accusations include allegations that Cummings had made the girl available for paid sex to other men.
There is also a question of whether Cummings had sold pornographic images of the girl on the Internet.
Wiser said investigators had obtained an arrest warrant when Cummings suddenly disappeared. She said they learned he might have fled to his mother’s home in Largo to escape arrest. They contacted Largo police Jan. 27, asking them to try to locate Cummings.
Waxahachie police learned that Cummings had just obtained a state Motor Vehicles identification card using his mother’s address. Police Chief Lester Aradi said officers found Cummings’ personal belongings in his mother’s apartment Jan. 27, but he wasn’t there. He said Dunn told them she expected him home either that night or the next day. For nearly 24 hours officers in unmarked cars “staked-out” Dunn’s home but there was no sign of the suspect.
With Cummings’ personal belongings, the police also seized a computer his mother said he had been working on to build a Web site, she told the police according to one report. Officers then decided to have a “heart to heart” talk with Dunn. They were able to learn Cummings was in Hernando County and his mother called him on the telephone. Officers traced the call then contacted deputies from that county to pick him up on the warrant. Hernando County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Donna Black said a SWAT team surrounded a secluded three-bedroom home in the Spring Lake area. As they closed in, one deputy at the back door saw a man furtively emerge from the house. His report claims that man discarded something in the dark that turned out to be marijuana. Other deputies knocked on the front door, answered by Cummings, who was arrested without offering any resistance, according to Black. The man who discarded the marijuana turned out to be the homeowner, Breck Gabler, 45, of Brooksville.
A connection between Cummings and Gabler couldn’t be learned.
Gabler was issued a citation for misdemeanor possession of a small quantity of marijuana and drug paraphernalia and released on his own recognizance.
Two days later Dunn was asked about her son.
“I hadn’t seen my son for 30 years,” she explained. “My son’s father took him when he was 3 years old. Then, about five years ago, before we moved to Florida, he came to our house with his father and stayed about three weeks.
“He didn’t like North Carolina and he went home.”
Dunn said she didn’t know about the “girlfriend” Cummings lived with in Waxahachie.
“He was married once, but he got divorced,” she said. “His ex-wife still lives here somewhere in Florida.”
About two weeks ago, she said, Cummings appeared at her door and asked if he could stay with her for a while.
“He said he had some problems in Texas that he had to take care of,” she said, “but he didn’t say what those problems were. He wasn’t very forthcoming.”
Dunn said her son was actively seeking work while staying with her. He attended church with his family.
“He met his sister for the first time two weeks ago,” she said. “He was very good and was around his sister’s children all the time.”
When the police told her what Cummings was accused of, “it took our whole family by shock.
“I hope he’s innocent but he’ll have to stand trial like anyone else and I’m sure the truth will come out,” she said.
Article published on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2006
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Published on TBNWeekly.com – Feb. 2, 2006