Mid-South teacher goes to court on 53 count indictment

(WMC-TV) - A Mid-South teacher indicted on crimes against 11 different children faced a judge Thursday. Crestview Middle School teacher Cindy Clifton appeared before a Tipton County judge on a 53 count indictment.

The packed Tipton County courtroom rumbled as the judge read the counts, which include statutory rape and contributing to the delinquency of a minor by providing alcohol to teens as young as 14-years-old.

After the hearing, with her husband at her side, Clifton hurried out of court and declined to comment.

Meanwhile, District Attorney Mike Dunavant released new information about the case about the victims that are minors, saying they are not all male.

"Ten of them are male," he said. "One of them is female. Seven of them are involved in the allegations involving statutory rape or statutory rape by an authority figure. The other four are alcohol offenses only."

Clifton's attorney, Blake Ballin, said he denies all allegations. Ballin is waiting for the state to provide proof.

"They're going to have to prove these things," he said. "They're going to have to turn over evidence. They're going to have to turn over statements and any physical proof they have."

Clifton was suspended without pay from Crestview Middle School back in August while Covington police conducted an investigation.

Ballin said the allegations contradict Clifton's reputation as a devoted mother and educator.

"She is a very family oriented person," he said. "She has been involved with her church. This is just completely at odds with her character.

Clifton faces three to six years behind bars for each count of statutory rape of an authority figure. She is due back in court in March.

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