Editor’s note: An earlier report this month in The Connection stated that Clifton Horn was still awaiting trial. Since then, we have learned that he made a plea deal and have updated the story.
A plea deal has been reached in the criminal case of Clifton Horn; a former East Robertson volleyball coach charged with 67 counts of sexual exploitation involving secretly videotaping his former players in a locker room.
According to the Robertson County Circuit Court, Horn waived a jury trial in open court on Nov. 1, 2021. He pleaded guilty to eight counts of an amended charge of Unlawful Photographing with Dissemination (E Felony), one count of Attempted Tampering with Evidence (D Felony), and 14 counts of Facilitation of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor (E Felony). Horn will also be placed on the TN Sex Offender Registry.
A sentencing hearing was scheduled for Jan. 31 but has since been postponed. A new date will be scheduled in the coming days.
The case originally dates back to 2018 from an initial indictment of 16 criminal charges. A superseding indictment was filed in June of 2019 with up to 51 more sexual misconduct charges. The initial case from 2018 was dismissed as a housekeeping matter.
In the newer indictment, 51 counts were added to the 16 previously handed down by a grand jury. They included:
• 8 counts of attempted especially aggravated exploitation of a minor
• 1 count of unlawful photography/violation of privacy
• 1 count of tampering with evidence
• 50 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor
• 7 counts of attempted unlawful photography/violation of privacy
A trial date was set for March 2, 2020 but was postponed and rescheduled multiple times.
Since the new indictment was filed, its details have not been made available to the public with the court records sealed by order of presiding judge William R. Goodman III. Access of the court file has been granted only to the District Attorney General’s office and members of the defense team.
According to the order, the decision to seal the court file was made due to the sensitive nature of the matter.
In June of 2019, The Connection submitted an open records request to the Robertson County Circuit Court Clerk for the new indictment but was denied access.
In August of that same year, the Robertson County Clerk’s Office unsealed the back of the last page of the indictment, which listed all charges, making them available to all interested parties.
All other parts of the indictment, which describe each charge, have remain closed and open only with the parties involved in the case.
It was October of 2018 that Horn was arrested and charged with the original 16 counts that described how he allegedly spent time video recording and photographing girls on his team, using a hidden device in the school’s locker room.
Most of the counts described Horn creating videos of girls changing clothes and/or using the restroom, exhibiting private areas of the minors, for the purpose of sexual arousal.
Several attempts were made to contact the district attorney’s office for an update, as well as to Horn’s Nashville attorney. As of this writing, we have not been able to speak with them. This continues to be a developing story and The Connection will provide updates as they become available.