Mississippi university president resigns after prostitution sting arrest

Published 11:17 am Monday, February 10, 2020

A Mississippi university president resigned Monday after he was arrested in a prostitution sting in central Mississippi.

William Bynum Jr., 57, president of Jackson State University was among more than a dozen people arrested during the weekend, according to a Clinton Police Department news release.

A separate news release from the Mississippi university system on Monday said Bynum submitted his resignation, and it took effect immediately.

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Bynum is charged with procuring services of a prostitute, false statement of identity and simple possession of marijuana.

He has been president of Jackson State since 2017 after serving four years as president of Mississippi Valley State University.

The Associated Press left a message Monday with the communications office at Jackson State. The call was not immediately returned.

Clinton Police said the sting included contacting offenders online through “dark web” sites. During that contact services and a location at a local hotel were agreed upon.

The two day operation resulted in 17 arrests with eight felony charges. The arrests spanned multiple charges including prostitution, procuring the services of a prostitute, promoting prostitution, conspiracy to promote prostitution, and various controlled substance violations.

In addition to Bynum, others charged included:


Holly Ann Wheaton, age 35, of Springfield, Tennessee: Prostitution

Steve Hampton, age 57, of Jackson, Mississippi: Promoting Prostitution, Possession of Crack Cocaine, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Anthony Bowman, age 48, of Vicksburg, Mississippi: Procuring Services of a Prostitute

Fredrick Robinson, age 41, of Jackson, Mississippi: Promoting Prostitution

Sierra Case, age 23, of Jackson, Mississippi: Prostitution

Sheena Stanford, age 35, of Jackson, Mississippi: Promoting Prostitution

Taylor Ducre, age 30, of Angie, Louisiana: Prostitution and Possession of Cocaine

Eric Jackson, age 34, of Jackson, Mississippi: Promoting Prostitution

Naketa Williams, age 37, of Jackson, Mississippi: Prostitution

Shonda McCarthy, age 46, of Jackson, Mississippi: Procuring Services of a Prostitute and Possession of Marijuana while Operating a Motor Vehicle. McCarthy is listed on the University’s website as a professor and director of the university’s art gallery.

Rosella Brown, age 25, of Canton, Mississippi: Prostitution

Alexis Miller, age 23, of Memphis, Tennessee: Conspiracy to Promote Prostitution

Temeela Palmer, age 31, of Memphis, Tennessee: Prostitution and Conspiracy to Promote Prostitution

Joseph Jones, age 30, of Memphis, Tennessee: Conspiracy to Promote Prostitution

Jesus Porrata, age 31, of Memphis, Tennessee: Promoting Prostitution