Tad Cummins admitted to having a relationship with his 15-year-old former student. The 50-year-old Tennessee teacher says that his admission was "coerced," and his lawyer wants it rescinded. As the Tennessean reported, Cummins' attorney said law enforcement illegally worked with Cummins' estranged wife to get him to confess his crimes. Cummins confessed that he had sex with his former student, Elizabeth Thomas.
"Given the number of constitutional violations in this case and the flagrancy of those violations, it is not an exaggeration to say that in thirty years of the practice of criminal law this is one of the most aggravated cases of the trampling of constitutional rights which Defense Counsel has observed," the lawyer said in a filing.
The attorney added that authorities made Cummins confess by threatening him with harsher punishment.
As previously reported, Cummins and his former student absconded after suspicions arose that they were romantically involved. Cummins was indicted on a charge of transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activities, according to PEOPLE. He was additionally charged with destruction, alteration or falsification of records in a federal investigation for allegedly destroying two phones to impede the investigation.
Following a nationwide manhunt that lasted 38 days, the two were found in a remote California cabin. Cummins has reportedly admitted to having sexual contact with the teen during “most nights” during their five weeks on the run.
[Photo: Tennesee Bureau of Investigation]