Tad Cummins, the Tennessee teacher who absconded with 15 year old Elizabeth Thomas and triggered a 38-day Amber Alert, will be sentenced on January 16, 2019*, according to court documents.
Cummins has pleaded guilty to transporting a minor across state lines for sexual purposes and obstruction of justice. He faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years in federal prison, but could receive more.
Prior to the kidnapping, Cummins posted on Instagram, saying “It’s a great day to start.” His social media also revealed him to be a committed Trump supporter, with posts such as “I can think of 6 million reasons why citizens should own assault weapons” against a backdrop of the Holocaust, and a name tag saying “Hello, my name is Ben Ghazi.” Cummins also posted photos of his Trump campaign yard sign, and a photo of a deserted beach with the caption “A group photo of everyone who believes Hillary Clinton is innocent.”
However, in the run up to the kidnapping, Cummins’s Instagram almost exclusively contained memes about love, such as “Something beautiful is on the horizon,” and “There are colors inside of her too beautiful to name.”
In an exclusive interview with ABC, Elizabeth Thomas revealed shocking details of the kidnapping.
Thomas said, “He made me feel like only he cared about me and nobody else really did.” She said was afraid to tell other people for fear of retaliation and disbelief.
According to Thomas, as soon as she had gotten into his car, Cummins pulled out a gun and told her “If I can’t have you, I’m going to kill myself.” He also threatened Thomas’s family. Cummins is said to have had sex with Thomas on “most nights” of the 38-day ordeal.
Upon arrival in California, with Thomas in tow, Cummins attempted to join Bear Ranch Commune, an off-the-grid, self-sufficient community with communal living and shared work. However, the community threw him out because he reportedly became angry when asked to do his fair share of work. Cummins then brought Thomas to a remote cabin in Cecilville, CA, with no internet or phone access.
Thomas told ABC that the day police showed up was the best day of her life.
*This article was updated from a previous article containing the old sentencing date, December 5th, 2018.