A pedophile teacher, 52, sparked a nationwide search after he kidnapped a 15-year-old student and drove her across the country. It has now emerged that he raped her every single day during that journey.
Tad Cummins, 52, who was married and has two daughters of his own, stole his wife’s car and filled a prescription for an erectile dysfunction drug before he set off across the country with Elizabeth Thomas.
Cummins’ was Elizabeth Thomas’ health teacher. He is reported to have taken advantage of ‘a broken girl who was lonely, scared and traumatized.’
Cummins and the teen were on the run for weeks after he took her from rural Tennessee to a remote cabin in California in 2017. The national manhunt ended when Cummin was arrested at a California cabin.
One year after the incident, Thomas narrated her ordeal in a victim statement, saying:
I was scared. I don’t want to tell my parents that a grown man kissed me. I don’t want to tell my friends that a grown man kissed me.
It was fourth period. Next thing I know, he said, “You’d look pretty nice naked.
According to Thomas, Cummins began by raping her in the closet of his high school classroom.
He’d open up his closet door and look at me a certain way and I knew if I didn’t go in he’d be upset and I was afraid to see him angry.
Cummins was suspended from the school after someone at the school saw them kissing on a school bus and reported him. But he convinced Thomas to leave with him as he fled town.
Elizabeth Thomas said:
He said that if he couldn’t have me he’d kill himself.
A while after Cummins was arrested following weeks of a police search, Thomas told authorities that she and Cummins had sex ‘every day as they traveled from state to state.’
In court on Wednesday, January 16, Thomas’ victim statement was read by Assistant US Attorney Sarah Meyers. In the statement, Thomas referred to Cummins as a ‘sick, disgusting criminal’ who ‘violate me over and over again for months.’
The victim statement also reads: ‘You preyed upon a vulnerable girl. I will live with the scars you left on me forever.’
Cummins pleaded guilty to transporting a minor across state lines for sex and obstructing justice and was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Wednesday.
He broke down crying in court and apologized for the harm he caused Thomas and his own family, including his wife and two daughters who were in the courtroom. Cummins called the kidnapping a ‘misguided attempt to help that went sideways in a way I don’t know I’ll ever understand.’
Cummins and his wife
He told the victim’s family in court: ‘If someone had done this to one of my girls I would want to hurt them, and I fully understand if you feel that way about me.’