Sumner Co. deputy accused of taking pics of teen - WSMV Channel 4

Sumner Co. deputy accused of taking pics of teen

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Christopher Cunningham Christopher Cunningham
GALLATIN, TN (WSMV) -

A Sumner County family says they are still waiting for justice after a deputy was fired for allegedly crossing the line with their daughter.

Christopher Cunningham lost his job last summer with the sheriff's office over a series of photographs that officials said should never have been taken.

According to investigators, around 3 a.m. on July 26, Cunningham witnessed a teenage couple and the girl's juvenile brother arguing outside while Cunningham was on patrol in Westmoreland.

The 13-year-old girl's juvenile brother was also walking in the area with them.

Cunningham placed all three of the juveniles in his vehicle and drove to the girl's house. There, sheriff's deputies say, Cunningham made the two boys stay in his patrol car while he went inside the girl's home and began taking inappropriate pictures of her.

The girl's parents were asleep and never knew she was home and in a room with a Sumner County sheriff's deputy, investigators said.

"I thought something was wrong, but it was a cop. I didn't think anything would happen at the time," said the girl, Amy O'Connor.

Cunningham was fired in August, and charged with one count of official misconduct, three counts of unlawful photography and violation of privacy, but Amy and her parents say the justice system is moving too slowly. They want Cunningham behind bars.

"I'd like to see him get jail time," said mother Tabetha O'Connor. "I feel he's not better than anybody else. If somebody else had done that, we'd be behind bars getting serious time out of it."

Amy's brother said he felt helpless locked inside the sheriff deputy's cruiser.

"I feel terrible something happened," said brother Shawn O'Connor.

Now, the family is hoping the man, who once pledged to keep them safe, is taken off the streets.

"I don't think it's right," Amy O'Connor said.

Cunningham's attorney, John Pellegrin, said probation is one of the option being offered to his client.

The next court hearing is set for Feb. 14.

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