People

Subscribe

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content

Crime

Former Tennessee Teacher Accused of Kidnapping Student Indicted on Two Federal Charges

Posted on

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation

Tad Cummins, the former high school teacher accused of abducting his former student from Tennessee to California, was indicted on Thursday on two federal charges.

Cummins, 50, was indicted on a charge of transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activities, according to court documents obtained by PEOPLE.

He was also charged with destruction, alteration or falsification of records in a federal investigation, which has a maximum sentence of 20 years.

The second charge is related to Cummins’ alleged destruction of two phones to impede the investigation.

An attorney for Cummins did not immediately return a request for comment on the indictment.

Cummins’ California attorney has noted that he has no prior criminal history and argued that he did not coerce, force or threaten Elizabeth — which her family disputes.

According to the Department of Justice, if he is convicted, Cummins could face a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, with a maximum sentence of life.

The DOJ had no additional comment.

RELATED: Elizabeth Thomas: an Inside Look at Months-Long Ordeal — from Alleged Abduction to Recovery at Home

Cummins was accused of allegedly kidnapping then-15-year-old Elizabeth Thomas on March 13. Thomas turned 16 on Wednesday.

They were discovered on April 19 in a remote cabin near Cecilville, California, after a tipster saw the pair and contacted authorities. They were missing for 38 days.

Elizabeth was brought back to Tennessee and has since been reunited with her family.