Search warrants obtained by a Lincolnton Police Department detective have revealed new details about the allegations against former Lincolnton High School principal Tony Worley.
Worley, 56, was suspended from his position on Saturday and voluntarily resigned on Tuesday, giving up all professional licenses in the process. Worley’s suspension came in the wake of an ongoing school system and law enforcement investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct involving a student.
Lincolnton Police Detective Jennifer Green obtained two warrants — one for Worley’s home in Lincolnton and three vehicles and another for Worley’s office at Lincolnton High School.
According to the warrants, the allegations were made by a male student who was enrolled at Lincolnton High School during the 2018-2019 academic year. That student first approached Dr. Heath Belcher, the director of human resources for the school system, who then contacted law enforcement.
The warrant says that, in April, the student was approached on an online dating application by an individual with the screen name “Tsunami,” who sent to the alleged victim pictures of him that were taken at a football game. Tsunami’s profile identified himself as a man.
The two continued having online conversations, with Tsunami changing his profile name to “Band Fan.” Band Fan sent the student a total of six nude photographs of a male known to the alleged victim as a North Lincoln High School student, according to the warrant application for Worley’s home. The student making the allegations closed this account and switched to SnapChat and started to have conversations with an individual known as “Wolf Pack.” The student soon realized that Wolf Pack was the same individual he was conversing with as Band Fan. Wolf Pack sent more pornographic photos, including pictures of a man the student was unfamiliar with as well as pictures of a house that has been identified as that belonging to Worley, according to the warrant. Wolf Pack continued to send photographs to the student throughout the month of May and June. On May 14, Worley allegedly sent text messages to the student from his personal cell phone of the band concert at Lincolnton High School. The same pictures were sent by Wolf Pack through SnapChat.
The conversations on SnapChat
became sexual in nature and, in the interview with Belcher, the student revealed that he was in an emotionally connected relationship with Worley.
On June 3, Worley told the alleged victim that a former North Lincoln High School student was coming to Worley’s home for sexual activity, according to the warrant. Worley texted, via SnapChat, nude pictures of a man. The student confirmed with the former North Lincoln High School student that he was indeed in Worley’s bed for sexual activity.
During the first search warrant conducted at Worley’s personal residence and vehicles, VHS tapes and CDs, cameras, bedding and a towel, cell phones, thumb drives, note pads, floppy disks and a laptop were removed from the property. The second search warrant was executed at Worley’s office at Lincolnton High School, where, according to the probable cause affidavit, Worley would bring male students alone and was where messages and photos were sent, received or taken. From this office, another cell phone was taken, as well as computers, thumb drives, a gift certificate with a note saying “thank you for less severe punishment,” note pads and miscellaneous papers.
Lincoln County Schools superintendent Dr. Lory Morrow and Lincoln County Schools Board of Education chair Cathy Davis have been approached for comment and have declined.
Lincolnton Police Department Capt. Brian Greene indicated that the investigation is still in its early stages and declined further comment as well.