A former Catholic school teacher's aide acquitted this week of 10 counts of sexual abuse against a student is now talking about starting over and finding a new career.
Mia Cummings, 31, of Oakland, was held for nearly two years in Santa Rita Jail awaiting trial. This week, she was released after a jury ruled they didn't believe the allegations against her. The former after-school program coordinator at All Saints Catholic School in Hayward tells NBC Bay Area she's trying put the pieces of her life back together.
"I started by taking my son to school for the first time," Cummings said Thursday. "That's what I started with."
Her son was 2 when she was arrested just before Thanksgiving in 2013. Unable to make the $500,000 bail, Cummings spent the next two years seeing her child once a week as a jail visitor.
"When I was put in jail, he couldn't tie his shoe," she said. "Now, he's making PBJs and asking, 'Do I want one?'"
This week, the jury ruled they didn't believe allegations of sexual abuse made by an All Saints student.
Before the jury found her not guilty, Cummings had rejected a plea bargain. She could have pleaded guilty and returned home, but she would have been forever labeled "a sex offender." Her attorney, David Cohen, wants bail reform.
"On the one hand, we'll give you credit for time served but won't reduce the bail amount, so they used it as a tool to get convictions," Cohen said.
Cohen advised his client against speaking about specifics of the case or bail reform.
Neither the school nor parents association responded to requests for comment.
Cummings has been advised to cut all contact with the school and intends to find a new career. She told NBC Bay Area she doesn't plan to teach or work with children again.