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West Tennessee middle school teacher charged with statutory rape of 11 teens

November 15th, 2011 6:27 am by Staff Report

MEMPHIS (AP) — Court officials have set an April 23 trial date for a Covington middle school teacher charged with raping 11 juveniles ages 14 to 17 years old.

A Tipton County grand jury handed down a 53-count indictment on Nov. 7 charging Crestview Middle School teacher Cindy Clifton with aggravated statutory rape, rape by an authority figure, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and giving alcohol to minors.

The investigation began after the school principal told authorities about a complaint filed against Clifton.

Clifton has pleaded not guilty. Her lawyer Blake Ballin tells The Associated Press that Clifton has been an educator for 20 years and is a well-respected member of the community who is embarrassed by the charges.

A March 1 status hearing is scheduled before the April trial date.

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