A former teacher at Lenford Middle School in Davidson County was arrested at his home on April 16 after it was alleged that he sexually abused one of his students in the early 1980s. Thomas Cridlebaugh, 71, has been charged with three first-degree sex crimes and seven second-degree sex crimes. All of the alleged incidents occurred between the 1981 and 1983.
The special agent from the State Bureau Investigation (SBI), which is in charge of the case, says that based on the information the agency has compiled, there is reason to believe that there were other victims abused by Cridlebaugh who have yet to come forward. In other words, the arrest of Cridlebaugh could be just the beginning of the investigation.
More victims could step forward
The case got started when the victim, who is now in his 40s, contacted the SBI to report the abuse he allegedly suffered when he was a child. According to the victim, the abuse happened mostly at the school itself. Other alleged victims have claimed they were also abused, but investigators believe that there are still more potential victims who could have additional information.
Cridlebaugh is now in the Davidson County Jail with a $5 million bond. The Davidson County School District has issued a statement, notifying the public that it has reviewed the contents of Cridlebaugh’s file and that there were no reports of abuse brought up while he was an employee. However, the district is cooperating with investigators regarding the allegations.
The effects of sexual abuse can be long lasting and devastating to one’s mental and emotional health. If you or a loved one has been the victim of sexual abuse, contact a compassionate North Carolina attorney with Lanier Law Group to learn about your options.