Crying Elizabeth Thomas Details ‘Disgusting’ Sex Assault By Tad Cummins At Sentencing

Tenn. Teacher Sentenced To 20 Years In Prison For Kidnapping Sex Teen
Source: Siskiyou Sheriffs Office / MEGA

Jan. 17 2019, Updated 2:59 p.m. ET

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Fighting through tears and anger, 17-year-old Elizabeth Thomas confronted her former teacher before the Tenn. man was sentenced to 20 years in prison for kidnapping her when she was just 15 and dragging her to California for sex.

In her impact statement, obtained by via Burton Staggs of the Tennessee River Valley News, Thomas said what Tad Cummins did to her in 2017 was “unspeakable.”

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“When I started school, you picked me out of the crowd. I was just a kid who wanted to make friends, but you were someone who had a plan,” Thomas said in court. “You saw a broken girl who was lonely, scared, and traumatized. You made her feel safe and loved because you saw what she needed and made her believe you would be her ‘protector.’

Thomas says as a teen, she was at a point in her life when she needed a protector the most, and that fell right into Cummins plans.

“All you were was a man who wanted sex, and you manipulated me and used me just for that,” she added.

As has reported, Cummins was caught in 2017 in a rural area of northern California. He eventually pleaded guilty to federal charges of transportation of a minor across state lines for the purposes of having sex.

But in her recount, Thomas admitted the two had a sexual relationship for months prior inside their classroom.

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“You act like you care now and that you’re full of all this regret, but where was any of that before? Where was any of that when you first had me alone in your classroom closet and violated me over and over again for months,” she asked. “Where was any of that when you spent untold amounts of time and effort into manipulating, pressuring and deceiving me into thinking that you were the only person that cared about me?”


Thomas said after kidnapping her, Cummins forced her to sleep naked, and repeatedly sexually assaulted her night after night while on the run. She asked the judge to sentence her former teacher and role model to 38 years in prison – one year for each day she was separated from her family.

“But the truth is, no matter how much time you have to serve, you will never be able to undo what you did to me,” she summarized. “I will have to live with the scars you left on me forever.”

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