The president of a historically Black college in Mississippi has resigned after he and more than a dozen other people were arrested for their roles in a prostitution and drug sting. William Bynum Jr., who led Jackson State University since 2017 as its president, resigned from the position after he was arrested and charged with “procuring the services of a prostitute, false statement of identity and possession of marijuana,” the Clarion-Ledger reported.
The arrests of Bynum and 16 other people, including another employee of the HBCU, were the results of a two-day operation in the nearby town of Clinton.
The Clarion-Ledger identified all of the people who were arrested in the sting and what they were each charged with:
- William Bynum Jr., 57, Procuring Services of a Prostitute, False Statement of Identity, and Simple Possession of Marijuana.
- Shonda McCarthy, 46, Procuring Services of a Prostitute and Possession of Marijuana while Operating a Motor Vehicle.
- Holly Ann Wheaton, 35, Prostitution
- Steve Hampton, 57: Promoting Prostitution, Possession of Crack Cocaine, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
- Anthony Bowman, 48, Procuring Services of a Prostitute
- Fredrick Robinson, age 41, Promoting Prostitution
- Sierra Case, age 23, Prostitution
- Sheena Stanford, 35, Promoting Prostitution
- Taylor Ducre, 30, Prostitution and Possession of Cocaine
- Eric Jackson, 34, Promoting Prostitution
- Naketa Williams, 37, Prostitution
- Rosella Brown, 25, Prostitution
- Alexis Miller, 23, Conspiracy to Promote Prostitution
- Temeela Palmer, 31, Prostitution and Conspiracy to Promote Prostitution
- Joseph Jones, 30, Conspiracy to Promote Prostitution
- Jesus Porrata, 31, Promoting Prostitution
The portion of Jackson State’s website reserved for the president led users to a “not found” page as of Monday afternoon in an indication that the university had moved quickly to distance itself from Bynum.
It was unclear when and where the arrests took place. Local news outlet WAPT reported that Bynum is a married farther of six.
The other Jackson State employee, Shonda McCarthy, was identified as “director of JSU Art Galleries.” Her employment status at the university was unclear as of Monday afternoon.
Bynum’s arrest came less than a week after the president of Texas Southern University was fired over an alleged college admissions scandal. Dr. Austin Lane was terminated from his position early Wednesday morning for allegedly allowing an unqualified student to be admitted to Texas Southern’s law school, which the board of regents said violated his duty to alert the university to any information that could damage its reputation.
The prostitution scandal in Mississippi came about a year and a half after Fort Valley State University, another HBCU, was at the center of a prostitution ring of its own on its campus in rural Georgia. Among those who warrants were issued for include the former executive assistant to the president of Fort Valley State, from where officials said sex for men was arranged in exchange for cash. Months earlier, the school’s Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority adviser was accused of “pimping out” pledges to help pay for pledges’ membership fees. Alecia Jeanetta Johnson, who allegedly operated as the madame of the prostitution ring and was facing six counts of pimping in addition to “six counts of prostitution on allegations she performed, offered or consented to perform a sexual act for money or other items of value,” was also named in the sorority investigation.