U.S. NEWS

Jackson State University President Resigns Following Prostitution Sting Arrest

William Bynum Jr. was arrested in central Mississippi for procuring services of a prostitute, false statement of identity and possession of marijuana.

William Bynum Jr., president of Jackson State University, resigned Monday after he was arrested in central Mississippi over the weekend as part of a prostitution sting.

The Clinton Police Department said in a news release that the two-day operation, which made contact with offenders via online “dark web” sites, resulted in a total of 17 arrests. This included Bynum, 57, who is accused of procuring services of a prostitute, false statement of identity and simple possession of marijuana.

During a news conference Monday, Clinton Police Chief Ford Hayman said that those arrested were responding to an online ad for prostitution services, and were met by an undercover cop at a hotel near the Interstate 20, The Associated Press reported.

Shonda McCarthy, an art gallery director at Jackson State University, was also among those arrested. She was charged with procuring services of a prostitute and possession of marijuana while operating a motor vehicle.

A press release from the Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning said that Bynum had tendered his resignation Monday. They later indicated they would hold an emergency meeting at noon to discuss a “Jackson State University personnel matter,” and Thomas Hudson was subsequently named the acting president of the university.

Bynum was appointed to his role at Jackson State University in May 2017. Prior to that, he was president of Mississippi Valley State University for four years. 

It was not immediately clear if Bynum or McCarthy are represented by an attorney. A representative from Jackson State University declined to provide additional comment.

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