COVINGTON, TN (abc24.com) - A teacher at a Tipton County middle school has struck a plea deal ahead of her August rape trial, pleading guilty to seven counts of rape.
In November 2011, a grand jury handed down a 53-count indictment charging Crestview Middle School teacher Cindy Clifton with aggravated rape, rape by an authority figure, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and giving alcohol to minors. The 11 victims named in the indictment were between 14 - 17 years old.
Clifton pleaded guilty to 15 of the 53 counts, seven of which were for rape, specifically oral sex. According to court testimony, three incidents occurred in a 5th grade classroom. She also pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of providing alcohol to minors.
Cindy Clifton was taken from the courtroom to immediately begin serving a three-year sentence, followed by eight years probation. She had worked at Crestview Middle School since 2002; she was taken off the job after the charges surfaced.