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Former Lincolnton High principal arrested on multiple criminal charges

Tony Worley, who was principal at Lincolnton High School, was suspended on Saturday.

LINCOLNTON, N.C. — A Lincoln County principal has been arrested on multiple criminal charges, NBC Charlotte learned Friday. 

Tony Worley, who was principal at Lincolnton High School, was suspended on Saturday while the district investigated alleged misconduct with students. On Tuesday, he terminated his employment. 

The Lincolnton Police Department reported Worley was arrested and charged with the two counts of felony indecent liberties with a student, five counts of felony sexual activity with a student, two counts of felony solicitation of sex with a student and 2 counts of misdemeanor solicitation for indecent liberties with a minor. The magistrate set his bond at $47,000. 

"As required by Superintendent Dr. Lory D. Morrow, in order to accept his resignation, Mr. Worley surrendered any and all professional licenses to be a teacher or school administrator to the North Carolina State Board of Education," the district said.

Worley, 56, was hired by Lincoln County Schools in 2002. During that time, he held the titles of assistant principal, director of secondary education, and principal.

The district was working to name an acting principal and hire a new one.

According to a search warrant, Worley is accused of child pornography and indecent liberties with a student.

The probable cause affidavit details exchanges between Worley and a current student on Grindr, Snapchat, and Instagram between April and June 2019. According to the affidavit, Worley sent sexually explicit messages and nude photos of former students to the current student.

According to the search warrant, Lincolnton Police seized phones, cameras, thumb drives, CDs, floppy disks, VHS tapes, a laptop, a towel, and a bed comforter from Worley's home.

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