Tony Lee Worley

Tony Lee Worley, 57.

A former Lincolnton High School principal charged with sex crimes against students in Lincoln County worked for Catawba County Schools from 1985-2002, according to Crystal Davis, school board attorney for the school system.

Tony Lee Worley, now 57, worked as a teacher for the school system from August 1985 until July 1999, when he became an assistant principal at Fred T. Foard High School, Davis said. He left the school system in June 2002.

Davis said the school system does not have a record of which schools Worley taught at from 1985-1999.

The school system does not have any record of misconduct during Worley’s tenure and he left on good terms, Davis added. A records request with the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office did not reveal any police reports filed against Worley for sexual misconduct.

According to WSOC-TV, a Charlotte news station, Lincoln County Schools hired Worley in 2002. His recent stint as principal at Lincolnton High School began in 2017.

Lincoln County Schools reported inappropriate activity on June 21 between Principal Tony Lee Worley and a Lincolnton High student, according to a previous press release from the Lincolnton Police Department.

Investigators have conducted numerous interviews with witnesses and have identified a second victim and are working to identify more, the release said.

Police searched Worley’s home on June 22. Worley was arrested July 5 and charged with 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 two counts of misdemeanor solicitation for indecent liberties with a minor. The magistrate set his bond at $47,000, according to the release.

He had his first appearance in Lincoln County District Court on Monday.

Worley is no longer employed by Lincoln County Schools. The school system announced the hire of Preston Clarke as Lincolnton High School’s new principal in a Facebook post on Tuesday

Worley is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Any victims or witnesses of this case should call Lincolnton Police Detective J. Green at 704-736-8900.

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