Canton sex offender sentenced to 31 years

John Michael Worley. York County Sheriff's Office photo John Michael Worley. York County Sheriff's Office photo

The U.S. Attorney for Western North Carolina’s office announced that a Canton man, Michael Worley, 51, has been sentenced to over three decades in prison for traveling to Fort Mill, South Carolina, to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor while being a registered sex offender. 

According to court documents and proceedings, in 2017, Worley was sentenced to 60 months in prison after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography in federal court in the Western District of North Carolina. As part of Worley’s judgement, he was ordered to a lifetime term of supervised release and to register as a sex offender.

Court documents show that in March 2021, the York County Sheriff’s Office began an undercover operation to identify online child predators using social media and other messaging applications to contact minors. On March 12, 2021, Worley began communicating online with undercover sheriff deputies posing as a 15-year-old girl. During their communications, Worley expressed his interest in engaging in illicit sexual acts with the underage female, knowing that the female he thought he was communicating with was a minor. Worley also referenced his prior federal conviction and said that he was not supposed to be talking to a minor, that he had been in trouble in the past, and that he did not want to get in trouble again. On March 27, 2021, Worley traveled from Haywood County to Fort Mill for the purpose of engaging in sexual acts with the minor.

When Worley arrived at the residence in Fort Mill where he thought he was meeting the minor, he was arrested by the York County Sheriff’s Office.

In March, Worley pleaded guilty to attempting to use a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing child pornography. Worley is in federal custody and will be transferred to the custody of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility.

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