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Shocking Court Confession: Teacher Who Kidnapped Teen For Sex Pleads Guilty

Apr. 6 2018, Updated 10:11 a.m. ET

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Tad Cummins, the former teacher who kidnapped a 15-year-old girl, pleaded guilty to the crime in Federal Court on Thursday, April 5, 2018.

Cummins fled from Tennessee to California with Elizabeth Thomas in the spring of 2017, sparking a nationwide manhunt for the couple. An eyewitness spotted them near a cabin in the remote town of Cecilville, Ca.

When Cummins took Thomas he left a note for his wife saying that he wanted to clear his head.

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The pair were found five weeks later living together in the wilderness.

After Cummins’ plea, her attorney released a statement on her behalf, saying the family was “"very relieved that Tad Cummins decided to do the right thing by pleading guilty. We see this as one more step toward justice."

In a recent interview, Thomas said that she ran away with 51-year-old Cummins and described their trip as consensual.

“I don’t regret it, nor do I say that it was the right thing to do,” Thomas told The Columbia Daily Herald.

Thomas spent three months in therapy and spoke about the questions people ask her about the experience.

“I am a human being. I can answer things fairly. But people are asking things that are too personal. People are talking to me like they know me. They didn’t talk to me before. They didn’t try to know me before. They have only liked me since I came back.”

Cummins’ lawyer attempted to talk to Thomas and stepped down from the case in January. A court-appointed public defender was with him in court when he admitted to obstructing justice when he destroyed his and Thomas’ cell phones when they were on the run.

Cummins was scheduled to be sentenced at a later date.

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