Nearly two years after former high school health teacher, Tad Cummins, took one of his students on a 38-day police chase across multiple states, he has finally been sentenced for his crimes.
On March 15, 2017, Cummins and a 15-year-old student of his disappeared together from their home state of Tennessee.
Cummins, a father, was married at the time of the kidnapping. His wife has since divorced the 52-year-old.
— Tad Cummins (@tadcummins) December 29, 2014
Thirty-eight days after Cummins and the teen disappeared, they were later found in a remote area of Northern California hiding in an empty hut with only the things they brought with them.
Cummins was arrested and the teenager was returned to her family.
Now, on January 16, 2019, after Cummins pleaded guilty to the charges against him, the former teacher has been sentenced.
Those charges included obstruction and transportation of a minor across state lines for the purposes of having criminal sexual intercourse.
According to Fox News, prosecutors were looking for the maximum sentence of 30 years, citing his sexual relationship with the teenager and that “he took advantage of the girl, who had a history of abuse and neglect.”
In a statement the teen read aloud in court, she told the judge that she believes Cummins should spend 38 years behind bars:
“I believe Mr. Cummins’ sentence should be 38 years in prison – one year for each day he kept me away from my family.”
Cummins requested the minimum sentence of ten years because he didn’t have a prior criminal record.
However, as Fox News reports, a judge made the decision to sentence Cummins to a total of 20 years in prison followed by lifetime supervision.
According to WZTV, prior to being sentenced, Cummins apologized to the victim, his student.
According to evidence previously reported by Dearly, Cummins and the teenager first became close when the teacher and his family became mentors for the young girl.
The teen would go to church with the family and Cummins and his ex-wife would often refer to the teen as their third child.
NEW: Here's the mug shot of Tad Cummins from California. He's now facing state and federal charges. pic.twitter.com/2LYWL7QlSt
— TBI (@TBInvestigation) April 20, 2017
The school where the teen attended after being homeschooled most of her life first began to learn of Cummins and the teen’s inappropriate relationship when another student reported that they saw them kissing in an empty classroom.
It was after Cummins was suspended from his position at the school that he devised a plan to run away with the girl.
Prior to the teen meeting up with Cummins on the day they disappeared, the girl reportedly told her sister that if she’s not back by a certain time to call 911.
After that, the teen wasn’t seen for 38 days before a tipster revealed where they were hiding in Nothern California.
After being arrested, Cummins admitted to his wife that he and the teen did have intercourse once they crossed state lines.
It’s unclear if prosecutors still plan to charge the 52-year-old with statutory rape.