Elizabeth Thomas, who was kidnapped and spent 39 days with her teacher, is recovering in a trauma center. She is speaking out and saying what surprises some people. The 15-year-old girl reportedly said she wants to date her abductor, Tad Cummins. She indicated that she is fully grown and she can date who she likes. She described her time with Cummins as a "big fun road trip" rather than a kidnapping. According to reports, the pair traveled across nine states and were 2,500 miles from home when they were found in a cabin in California.

Kidnapper's fate

While Thomas doesn't describe her time with Cummins as a kidnapping, the law sees it as a kidnapping. The 50-year-old former teacher has been charged in Tennessee with kidnapping and sex crimes against the teen. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has concluded that Cummins probably abused his role as a teacher to groom Thomas for the purpose of taking advantage of her sexually. He also faces charges in California for possession of stolen property. If convicted, Cummins faces a minimum of 10 years to life in prison. Before Cummins was arrested, he was on the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s 10 Most Wanted List.

On Tuesday, Cummins asked for a public defender during a hearing in Nashville, Tennessee.

He said he could not afford a private attorney. That was his first court appearance since his arrest on April 20 and his extradition to the state from California. It was a nationwide search for the teacher and the teen over a five-week period.

Other than being in trouble with the law for his crimes, Cummins has already been suspended from the school where he worked because he was caught kissing Thomas.

His wife has filed for a divorce and put their house up for sale.


Before Cummins was extradited, he had a public defender in California. Attorney Benjamin Galloway issued a statement defending his client. He stated that Cummins has no prior criminal history and no history of violence. In other words, the attorney thinks Cummins should get leniency because this is his first offense.

The lawyer also stated that Cummins did not coerce, force or threaten the teen to go with him. An earlier report said Cummins contends that she did not go with him. Instead, he went with her to protect her because she was going with or without him. Cummins is scheduled to appear in court again on Friday afternoon when he will have a public defender in Tennessee.