Former Davidson County middle school teacher pleads guilty to sex crimes against minors

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DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. — A former Ledford Middle School teacher accused of sex crimes against minors has accepted a plea deal in Davidson County, according to Davidson County District Attorney Garry Frank.

Thomas Cridlebaugh, 71, was arrested by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and charged with three first-degree sex offenses and seven second-degree sex offenses in April.

On Wednesday, he pleaded guilty to five counts of indecent liberties with minors.

As a result of Cridlebaugh’s plea deal, he has been sentenced to six years in prison and 60 months of probation.

The case began when an adult victim contacted the SBI to report the abuse he said he suffered as a boy at the hands of Cridlebaugh. The victim said the abuse occurred primarily at the middle school.

Investigators said as many as 20 victims came forward during the investigation.