A grand jury has indicted Tipton, Tennessee middle school teacher Cindy Clifton on a total of 53 charges, including 11 counts of rape by an authority figure, stemming from parties she allegedly threw at her Covington, Tennessee home where she supplied alcohol to her teenage daughter and her friends before having sex with some of the boys present.
According to the indictment, all the alleged victims were aged 14 – 17, not all of which were students at Crestview Middle School where Clifton was a reading teacher.
^ Cindy Clifton can be seen crying in her mug shot photos.
In addition to the 14 rape by an authority figure counts, Clifton also faces 11 counts of aggravated statutory rape, 14 counts of furnishing alcohol to minors and 14 counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Clifton’s unfortunately named attorney Blake Ballin talked with WMC-TV Memphis and proclaimed his client’s innocence:
Mrs. Clifton denies all allegations. She’s a devoted wife, hard working teacher, a faithful member of her church and a well respected member of her community
Tipton County Schools Director William Bibb also released a statement about the charges, stating:
Obviously we are deeply saddened by the charges that have been brought against this teacher.
The Tipton County School System has cooperated with local authorities.
Our priority is to continue to take all appropriate steps to ensure a safe learning environment for our students.
Clifton has been released on $40,000 bond but will return for her arraignment on the 53 charges against her on Thursday. The most serious rape charges each carry a maximum six-year sentence.
Covington Police launched their investigation back in August after the Crestview Middle School Principal received a complaint that Clifton had been involved in “improper conduct with a student.” Clifton was suspended without pay.
Here is a video report from WMC-TV – you may have to give it just a second to load: