University president resigns following arrest in prostitution sting

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

The president of Jackson State University resigned following his arrest in a prostitution sting at a Mississippi hotel.

William Bynum Jr., 57, of Jackson, Mississippi, was arrested over the weekend and charged with procuring services of a prostitute, false statement of identity and simple possession of marijuana. He was among 17 people busted in a two-day undercover operation by the Clinton Police Department.

Detectives made contact with the alleged offenders online through "dark web" sites, where services and a meeting place at a local hotel were agreed upon, police said. The suspects were taken into custody on a total of eight felony charges at the hotel in the town of Clinton, about 8 miles from Jackson.

Detectives "did not identify any patterns or activity to suggest that prostitution or human trafficking is prevalent in Clinton," police said.

Another Jackson State University employee was also arrested in the sting.

Shonda McCarthy, 46, of Jackson, Mississippi, was charged with procuring services of a prostitute and possession of marijuana while operating a motor vehicle, according to police. She is the director of the JSU Art Galleries, according to her biography on the school's website.

ABC News has reached out to both McCarthy and Bynum for comment.

Bynum, a married father of six who was named president of Jackson State University in May 2017, tendered his resignation to the Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning on Monday, effective immediately. Board members held a "special emergency meeting" that afternoon where they named Thomas Hudson as acting president of Jackson State University, according to a statement.

The board said it "will discuss the future leadership of Jackson State at its regular board meeting next week."

Bynum was released on a $3,000 bond early Sunday morning, police said. He is due to appear in Clinton Municipal Court for his arraignment on March 11.

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