The federal complaint says Cummins and the girl "are involved in a sexual relationship and traveled in interstate commerce to continue their relationship and to engage in unlawful sexual activity".
Cummins, 50, and 15-year-old Elizabeth Thomas disappeared in March for five weeks but were found last week. She says Elizabeth is in a mental health facility where she is being treated, so she spends a lot of time with a therapist while visitation with family & friends is limited.
The Associated Press is not naming the girl because she is an alleged victim of a sex crime.
According to Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey, Cummins made an arrangement with someone connected to the property where the Siskiyou County cabin was in exchange for gas and food.
Federal charges were read against Tad Cummins during his first court appearance in Sacramento Monday, but he did not enter a plea. The charge carries a minimum of 10 years.
The U.S. Attorney's Office charges Cummins began a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old student, lied about it, stole his wife's auto, and took the girl to Siskyiou County in northern California.
"She told us she didn't have access to telephone, internet, any electronic devices".
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Danielle Thomas, Elizabeth's sister-in-law, told News 2 she spent time with the 15-year-old at an undisclosed location where Thomas is staying for evaluation. "She's just so happy to get food and coffee and showering". "You're speechless", Bozeman said.
"I pretty much just was like, 'Hey, remember when...' or, 'Hey, remember when...' And it's a amusing joke I told her", Danielle said.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Kendall Newman ordered Cummins to be kept in federal custody as a flight risk and a danger to others, and returned to Tennessee for trial.
He also faces state charges of sexual contact with a minor and aggravated kidnapping, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said last month.
An alert resident noticed the Cummins' Nissan Rogue near the commune in far Northern California and alerted law enforcement, who discovered the vehicle was registered to Cummins.
Surveillance footage captured the pair at a Walmart in Oklahoma.
The student who reported the kissing said she confronted Cummins, who was a teacher at the school.