Former Lincoln County Principal charged with 11 sex crimes involving students

A Lincoln County principal who resigned in the wake of investigation which uncovered nude photos of a student has been charged with 11 sex crimes.

Tony Worley - Lincoln - Quiet Epidemic

Tony Worley

Tony Worley, age 57, was arrested Friday, July 5 and is charged with two counts of felony indecent liberties with a student, two counts of felony solicitation of sex with a student, two counts of misdemeanor solicitation for indecent liberties with a minor, and five counts of felony sexual activity with a student.

More charges may be coming. Lincoln County law enforcement has indicated that another victim has come forward.

A bond of $47,000 was set and Worley was booked into the Lincoln County Jail.

The search warrants contain detailed allegations by a student of Worley’s in which he said that Worley contacted him using the profile name Tsunami on a dating app called Grindr.

According to the warrants, the student claims Principal Worley sent him nude photos of at least six young males and law enforcement say those photos were taken on Worley’s own home and on his bed.

Worley, who was originally hired in 2002 as an assistant principal, voluntarily resigned on Monday, June 24, just two days after being suspended by Lincoln County Public Schools.

Worley is the second Lincoln County principal in the news in June. Earlier this month, the district put North Lincoln High School Principal Mitch Sherrill on paid administrative leave and would not say why.

Worley surrendered his license to be a teacher or school administrator to the North Carolina State Board of Education. Worley’s license, number 944055, is still listed on the state’s licensure lookup tool as active as of July 5.

“The Superintendent and Board of Education take student safety very seriously and Lincoln County School officials work closely with law enforcement to investigate allegations of misconduct involving students,” said a press release from Lincoln County Public Schools.

The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to call the Lincolnton Police Department at 704-736-8900 or Heath Belcher in LCS Human Resources at 704-732-2261.

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About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a freelance journalist and is currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_
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