Tad Cummins, the former Tennessee teacher who fled with a 15-year-old student in 2017 and held her for more than a month, was sentenced Wednesday to 20 years in federal prison, NBC News reports. Cummins, 52, pleaded guilty last year to federal crimes of crossing state lines to have sex with a minor and obstruction of justice; he had asked for the minimum sentence of 10 years, arguing that if they had not crossed state lines he likely would only have faced 2 to 4 years, the AP reports.
Prosecutors, however, called for a 30-year sentence, claiming Cummins took advantage of a vulnerable girl who had been neglected and abused. Cummins had already been suspended from his teaching job in February 2017 when another student saw him kissing the victim; the following month, he and the victim disappeared. The teen's father reported her missing. Cummins was fired soon after, and his teaching license was revoked. The pair were found at a cabin in a remote part of California in April 2017. (Cummins' victim was so hungry she resorted to eating flowers while in captivity.)