Crestview Middle teacher faces 53 count indictment, including statutory rape charges

Cindy Clifton
Cindy Clifton

(WMC-TV) - A Mid-South teacher indicted on statutory rape charges was due to take an HIV test Tuesday.

Monday, Cindy Clifton faces 53 counts on offenses ranging from felonies to misdemeanors.

Clifton is accused of providing alcohol to and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Residents of Tipton County said they are fed up with teachers being charged with crimes involving children.

"We never did hear about this coming up, but it happens more today then it's ever been," Linda Grant said.

According to a release from the District Attorney, Clifton committed crimes against a total of eleven minors on dates between April 11, 2011 and July 15, 2011.

If convicted, Clifton faces possible ranges of sentences of three to six years on each of the statutory rape by an authority figure counts.

Covington residents say if the allegations are true, the minors hold some responsibility, depending on their age.

"I think there ought to be better laws because this thing shouldn't continue to go on," Vicki Mayfield said.

Clifton was released Tuesday on a $40,000 bond is expected to be arraigned on Thursday.

Tipton County officials said Clifton was required to submit to an HIV test as standard procedure in any rape case.

Clifton's attorney Blake Ballin spoke with Action News 5 about the indictment.

"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" said Ballin.

In a statement, Tipton County Schools Director William Bibb said, "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."

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