Tennessee Bureau of Investigation
Alexia Fernandez
May 18, 2017 08:58 PM

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.

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