MIAMI COUNTY — It was the media coverage of the former U.S. Olympic doctor Larry Nassar, who was found guilty of sexually abusing at least 265 female athletes, which made a now 12 year-old victim realize the sexual abuse she had endured for more than five years at the hands of a family member was not normal behavior.
Seth Cummins, 37, entered a plea of guilty to 10 counts of first-degree felony rape of a minor under the age of 13 in Miami County Common Pleas Court on Dec. 17.
On Friday, Cummins was sentenced to serve a mandatory 10 years to life in prison on each count with all counts to run concurrent with one another. Cummins’ first chance for parole consideration will be 2030. He will also serve five years of post release control upon his release. Cummins, visibly upset throughout the hearing, was labeled a Tier III sex offender and must register for the rest of his life every 90 days.
Cummins attempted to read a statement, but due to his emotional state, Miami County Common Pleas Court Judge Stacy Wall asked for defense attorney Jose Lopez to read it to the court on his behalf.
In the statement, Cummins said his heart was broken for what he put the victim and the family through. He apologized to the victim, who was present in the courtroom, for “the damage I caused.” He asked for forgiveness from the family and for the court to have mercy.
“I’m not a monster, but a good hearted man who made a mistake,” the statement said. “I’m so sorry, please forgive me one day and have mercy on me please.” His letter to the court concluded that he would seek help while in prison.
The alleged victim, now 12, is known to Cummins. According to police reports, Cummins admitted to detectives he had been sexual with the victim “a couple of times.” He then told detectives the alleged abuse began when the victim was in second or third grade. Cummins also admitted to sexually assaulting the victim when the victim was 10 years old and sexual intercourse began when the victim was in fifth grade. Cummins also admitted to detectives he and the victim would have sexual conduct “three times a week” in the past year, according to police reports. He also admitted to engaging in sexual intercourse with the minor victim prior to his arrest on June 20. Troy Police Department detectives were able to gather evidence from the home where the sexual acts occurred.
Miami County Prosecutor Tony Kendell said the minor victim and her family were advised of the joint plea agreement and said they were satisfied with it.
In a victim impact statement read by Miami County Prosecutor’s Office Victim Witness representative Carmen Barhorst, the victim said Cummins was “my best friend.” She explained the sexual abuse began around 7 years-old and believed it “was normal” and “his way of showing affection.”
At the age of 10, she said it was the media coverage of the Larry Nassar case that she realized the almost daily sexual contact was not normal.
The victim stated the abuse would occur every day after school. The victim said she came forward to protect others. The victim stated she is “numb” and “I really wished he had not done any of the things to me.”
Prior to sentencing, Wall told Cummins he destroyed the victim’s family.
“The sadness is unreal in this case,” she said.
Wall found Cummins was remorseful for his conduct, and he had no prior criminal record. He was granted 212 days of jail credit.