Police, School Notified of Sexual Misconduct Concerns About Lincolnton Principal in 2007
In late June, Lincolnton High School principal Tony Worley was arrested on several sex crime charges, including 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.
Worley resigned from his position a few days before being charged.
According to a report by WBTV, in 2007 the school and local police were both contacted by a parent concerned about possible inappropriate interactions between his son and Worley. A police report from that year states that the student’s father “came in to complain about the Principal using a web sit (sic) on My Space and contacting their son and placing pictures and captions involving his son.”
The report says that Lincolnton Police Department detectives and the FBI investigated these concerns from January to April of 2007, but did not find sufficient evidence that a crime had taken place.
A Lincolnton PD detective met with Lincoln County Schools leadership that year and explained that there was not evidence to state that a crime had taken place. According to that detective’s report, “They told me that he may have broken a policy and would follow up on their end.”
According to a copy of Worley’s personnel information, he was suspended without pay for five days in June 2007.
Worley was arrested in June 2019 after a Lincolnton High School student contacted police, saying that he had messaged Worley on the dating app Grindr and that they communicated through the social media app SnapChat. The student told police that Worley had sent him photos of other former Lincolnton students at his home.
Hi, I’m attorney Brian Kent.
If you or a loved one is a survivor of sexual abuse, I’d be happy to discuss your legal options.
Call me on the number below. It costs nothing, and it would be my honor to help you.
Legal Recourse For Victims of Sexual Abuse by School Employees
Attorney contributor Brian Kent is a former sex crimes prosecutor and a founding partner of AbuseGuardian.com – a national alliance of sex abuse victims attorneys. Brian has offered to share some thoughts on the legal rights of school sex abuse victims and their families:
Schools have a legal duty to do everything they can to protect their students from preventable harm, including sexual abuse. Sadly, sexual predators are often found working in education and other fields that involve working with children.
Job applicants must be thoroughly screened to make sure no one with a history of sexual misconduct is hired. When a student comes forward to report sexual misconduct involving a school employee, the allegations must be taken seriously and reported to law enforcement.
During an investigation into sexual misconduct involving a school employee, it’s important to also investigate the school and determine if the district was negligent in a way that enabled the abuse to happen. For example, if previous reports of sexual misconduct involving the perpetrator were ignored, the school might be considered negligent. Cases of negligence often result in lawsuits by the victims and their families.
If you or a loved one is a survivor of sexual abuse by a school employee, you can learn more about your family’s legal options by speaking with an experienced sex abuse victims attorney.
Location of Lincolnton High School in North Carolina
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