Former teacher Tad Cummins appeals sentence

Tad Cummins (Photo: Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tad Cummins is appealing the 20-year sentence a federal judge handed down for his run across the country with a 15-year-old student.

A public defender for Cummins filed a notice in federal court Wednesday stating Cummins would appeal his judgment and conviction to the Sixth Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals.

A judge sentenced Cummins to 20 years in prison last week after he pleaded guilty to transporting a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activities and destruction of records in a federal investigation.

Cummins was a teacher at the school the 15-year-old girl attended in Maury County, Tenn., and was suspended from his job after someone reported seeing the two kiss in a school classroom.

Cummins and the girl left Columbia, Tenn., and were the subject of a nationwide manhunt for more than five weeks. They were found in northern California, near the Oregon state line.

Prosecutors had pushed for a 30-year sentence for Cummins, saying he had groomed the girl for exploitation and had no intentions of turning himself in at the time they were found in California.

His defense attorneys had asked for 10 years, saying he would have faced considerably less time in jail for the crime if he and the girl hadn’t crossed state lines.

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