Tad Cummins
Tad Cummins, 50, a former Tennessee high school teacher accused of abducting 15-year-old student Elizabeth Thomas in March, is seen in this booking photo after his arrest by Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Department’s Special Response Team in Cecilville area of Siskiyou County, California, April 20, 2017. Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office/Handout via REUTERS

Former Tennessee teacher Tad Cummins — who is set to go on trial for kidnapping and allegedly having sex with one of his students — has requested a new trial date, according to reports Thursday.

Cummins was arrested in April after police found him with then-15-year-old student Elizabeth Thomas in Northern California.

Cummins’ initial trial date was set for July 25 in Nashville. However, he filed a motion July 6 asking his trial date to be set in January 2018 in a bid to conduct additional research and investigation in the case. The 51-year-old has been indicted on charges related to sex crimes with a minor. He pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Read: Tad Cummins’ Letter To Wife Before Absconding With Elizabeth Thomas Enters Evidence

“In light of the serious nature of the charge, the ongoing plea discussions, and the need to conduct additional research and investigation, undersigned counsel submits that the interests of justice will be served by the granting of a continuance. Further, he submits that the denial of a continuance in the present case would deny him the reasonable time necessary for effective preparation, taking into account the exercise of due diligence,” the motion read.

Cummins and Elizabeth went missing March 13 prompting Amber Alert for the minor in multiple states. Law enforcement officials believed Cummins had kidnapped the teen and launched a manhunt for him. The pair was found April 20 in Northern California’s Siskiyou County. Cummins was charged with transporting a minor across state lines with intention to engage in sexual activity. If convicted, he could end up in jail for 10 years minimum and would be fined $250,000.

Several reports had suggested Cummins and Elizabeth had a romantic relationship. However, law enforcement official dismissed the reports saying the teen was a minor.

FBI agent Utley Noble testified in May that the former health science teacher confessed he had sex with Elizabeth “most nights” when the two were on the run. Cummins’s estranged wife Jill told Inside Edition in April that he admitted having sex with the minor.

“I said, ‘Well, did you sleep with her?’” she told Inside Edition. “And he said, ‘Yes, I did.’ And I didn’t want any details.”

Elizabeth’s father Anthony Thomas told People magazine July 5 his family was preparing for the “highly emotional” trial.

“It’s a highly emotional issue,” Thomas told People “[Going to court] is going to be very difficult for everybody.”

“We’ve spoken many times as a family,” he said, adding: “[Going to court] is just something we’re going to have to go through.”

He did not disclose Elizabeth’s current location, however, he said she is having the family’s support and receiving help from counselors.

Read: Tad Cummins Tried Using Kayaks To Take Elizabeth Thomas To Mexico With Fake Spanish Names

“We are doing fine,” Thomas said. “It’s just a process you have to go through. [We’re] being very supportive.”