The Tennessee teacher, who was on the run for weeks with a 15-year-old student, was sentenced Wednesday to 20 years in prison.
Prosecutors had requested a 30-year prison sentence after Tad Cummins 52-year-old pleaded guilty to having transferred a minor for sexual purposes and obstructed justice.
The victim was in Nashville federal court, could not speak.
U.S. Attorney Assistant Sara Beth Meyers read the girl's statement
"What you did to me was indescribable," read Myers. According to the victim's statement, Cummins had seen "a broken, undisciplined, frightened and shocked girl". The statement said she needed protection, but Cummins only wanted sex. The statement also indicates that the girl was convinced that Cummins would have finally abandoned her if he had not been caught at a distance from the cabin in California in April 2017 after a national lawsuit.
US District Judge Aleta Trauger admitted that Cummins had committed "a very painful crime," but added that there were mitigating factors, including having no criminal record. Cummins has requested a minimum sentence of 10 years.
Before rendering his verdict, Cummins apologized for the harm he had done to the 17-year-old victim and his family, some of whom were in the courtroom.
He also told the victim's family: "If someone has already done this to one of my daughters, I want to hurt them and I fully understand that you feel that way for me. "