13 May, 2017
Cummins is accused of abducting his 15-year-old former student Elizabeth Thomas, with whom he was absconding for over a month before being found April 20.
Cummins, 50, remains in federal custody after being charged with transporting a minor across state lines for the goal of criminal sexual intercourse.
Despite the married grandfather facing a federal child trafficking charge for grooming and kidnapping her, Elizabeth has told friends she had the "time of her life" during their five weeks on the run.
Several people in the courtroom told Channel 4 they were happy to see Cummins have his day in court.
When asked by the Magistrate judge if he understood the charge, Cummins replied, "Yes m'am".
Cummins was assigned a public defender during the appearance. He arrived at the federal courthouse on Tuesday morning after being held in Henderson County, KY, overnight.
A USA teen who ran away with her schoolteacher is claiming she's "in love" with the man who kidnapped her for 39 days. She was found safe with Cummins in a northern California cabin.
Tad Cummins, 50, appeared in federal court in Tennessee for the first time since his arrest last month in California.
Kimberly Thomas, 48, is now facing allegations that she beat her children, locked them in a basement and threw them down stairs.
Authorities believe the teacher groomed the girl for almost a year before they left and headed west.
As he was leaving, Cummins said "I love you" to his daughters.
He was sacked the day after they disappeared.
Prior to his capture, Tennessee authorities issued a warrant for Cummins' arrest on charges of aggravated kidnapping and sexual contact with a minor - the latter charge stemming from an incident in which he allegedly kissed Elizabeth at the Culleoka Unit School, where Cummins was Elizabeth's health sciences teacher.