TIPTON COUNTY, TN (abc24.com) - A Tipton County teacher accused of having sex with some of her students and providing them with alcohol returned to court on March 1.
Cindy Clifton faced a judge for a status hearing on her case. She was indicted after seven teens, ages 14-16, said they were raped and 11 others said she gave them alcohol.
Clifton faces 53 counts on charges of statutory rape, rape by an authority figure, and giving alcohol to minors. The only female in this case was not a rape victim.
Clifton insists she is innocent. She was arrested in November after a three-month investigation that started when parents began complaining about parties at Clifton's home.
At Clifton's arraignment in November, her attorney Blake Ballin told abc24.com, "She's crushed. She's been emotional. This has been hard on her, hard on her family. She's been an educator for 20 years. She has her master's degree. She's a family oriented person, involved in church. This is at odds with her character."
According to Tipton County District Attorney Mike Dunavant, "We will pursue that justice and prosecute this just like we would any other serious sex offense felony case."
Clifton was originally scheduled to go to trial April 23, but because her attorney requested more time that trial date has been pushed back to August.
Clifton is currently out of jail on a $40,000 bond. She had worked at Crestview Middle School since 2002 and was taken off the job after the charges surfaced.