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'He chose to prey on me' Victim calls former teacher Tad Cummins 'sick, disgusting'

Sketch by Mike Stow

A former Maury County teacher was sentenced to 20 years followed by lifetime supervision after carrying one of his students across the country in 2017, prompting a nationwide manhunt.

Tad Cummins will spend 20 year behind bars, but the victim said that's not enough. In a statement read in court by an attorney, the teen called for Cummins to stay in prison for 38 years, "one year for each day he kept me away from my family."

How did a teacher and student take off from the small Tennessee town unseen before Cummins' capture in California? The victim's statement shed new light on the then-15-year-old girl's side of the story.

"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," the victim wrote. "You saw a broken girl, who was lonely, scared, and traumatized. You made her feel safe and loved."

The teen said Cummins made her believe he would be her "protector."

The victim said she was violated repeatedly for months in the former teacher's classroom closet . She also claimed Cummins dissuaded her from seeing a therapist after she told him she was depressed.

All reportedly before March 13, 2017, when the victim said Cummins convinced her to get into a car with him, sparking the Amber Alert and nationwide BOLO.

While on the run for 38 days, the victim said Cummins sexually assaulted her night after night and forced her to sleep without clothes on. In her statement to the court, the victim called Cummins a "man who craved power and control."

Ahead of the sentencing for Cummins, his daughter wrote a letter on his behalf to a federal judge.

"When this all started the devil won, my dad freaked out because never before had he been in such a dark place and then the lies began," his oldest daughter Erica Osborne wrote in part.

A claim that the victim had a response to in her court statement.

"First, you said I was to blame. Then, you said the devil made you do it. But if that's true, then you are the devil," the victim wrote. "You did this. No one made you."

The victim said those 38 days "destroyed not just my family, but also yours." A statement seeming to appeal to both sides.

The former teacher's daughter said she looks forward to the day "my kids get to see Poppy again and I get to hug my Daddy for the first time in two years."

As for the teen she continues her recovery.

"I will have to live with the scars you left on me forever," the teen said. "You can't hurt me anymore."

Find the full victim impact statement below:







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