Family member of statutory rape victim speaks out - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Family member of statutory rape victim speaks out

Crestview Middle School teacher Cindy Clifton faces 53 counts, including statutory rape and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Crestview Middle School teacher Cindy Clifton faces 53 counts, including statutory rape and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Crestview Middle School Crestview Middle School
Clifton appearing in court. Clifton appearing in court.

(WMC-TV) - Crestview Middle School teacher Cindy Clifton faces 53 counts, including statutory rape and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Clifton has a plea hearing Thursday and family member of one of the victims says her family is concerned the teacher will get off with just a slap on the wrist because the victims are boys.

"There were too many victims for this to be swept under the rug," said the aunt of one of the victims.

11 victims total, seven of them Cindy Clifton is accused of having sex with or performing other sexual activities with. She's accused of given alcohol to the other four victims.

"It started taking place when they were students here," the woman said.

She says alcohol was how Clifton had her way with the boys. She would also give them a ride to extra-curricular activities.

"Ball games, practices, any kind of after school events," the woman said.

She would also take them to other places where she could be alone with the boys. There was more trust than usual because Clifton has a child the same age as the victims.

"They were adolescent boys most of these guys were friends," the woman said.

Now the victims are in high school. Aware of what happened to them and aware that many of their peers also know. The family member says one of the hardest parts is getting people to take the allegations seriously.

"When they find out what's going on they say oh that's just a boy being a boy but I guarantee you if it was someone's 12 year old daughter and a 41 year old man, I mean that's just stomach churning and disgusting," the woman said.

The family has discovered that Clifton could accept a plea deal, Thursday. In their minds, this reinforces a double standard between male and female sex offenders.

"I just feel like she is going to get off with a slap on the wrist, honestly," the woman said.

Action News 5 will continue covering this story and let you know what comes out of Clifton's hearing Thursday morning in Tipton County.

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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