Former SMU Dean Arrested On Prostitution Charges

Attanasio MugshotThere was a shocking arrest for many in the Texas bar this week when former dean of Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law John B. Attanasio was charged under prostitution laws. Attanasio, 60, is free on $500 bail for the class B misdemeanor.

635584156285724730-attanasio3Attanasio served three terms as dean from 1998 to 2013. The decision not to renew his contract caused quite a stir, including the resignation of Leslie Ware, a member of the Dedman Law School executive board, in protest of not being informed of the plan by the University. A letter protesting the decision and asking for reconsideration was sent by fifty-six prominent alumni, including two former Texas Supreme Court judges, a federal judge, a former federal judge, the current U.S. attorney and the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Attanasio was considered a successful fundraiser and popular dean. Many speculated that he was latest victim of the annual survey at U.S. News and World Report, where the school continues to flounder below where many believe it should be in the rankings.

Attanasio is currently the Judge William Hawley Atwell Chair of Constitutional Law and professor.

This is the second Dean to find himself facing prostitution charges.

Ironically, there is an ongoing debate in academia over the constitutionality of the criminalization of prostitution if it involves consenting adults. Most however believe that such laws are constitutional and remain a matter of state law. Only one state, Nevada, allows for prostitution. Roughly 50 countries, including allies like Germany and France, have some form of legal prostitution under close regulation by the state.

It is not clear how the school will respond if he pleads guilty to a misdemeanor. Recently, we discussed the case of a professor who actually assaulted women on campus, pleaded guilty to assault, but was not terminated or even apparently seriously reprimanded by the University of California.

The school issued the following statement:

Dear SMU Law Faculty and Students,

I am writing to share the below message with you that Dr. Turner has just sent to the University’s Board of Trustees. This will also be shared with the media in response to inquiries.

“SMU learned from media reports today of the arrest of Law Professor John Attanasio in Collin County. In accordance with University policy, SMU does not comment on matters under active investigation by area police. Professor Attanasio will not teach his class this week. SMU will gather information and follow University procedure to determine any appropriate action under its policy in such matters.”

This week’s session of Professor Attanasio’s class is cancelled. Students should not come to class.

Paul Ludden

83 thoughts on “Former SMU Dean Arrested On Prostitution Charges”

  1. Well I am late to this discussion, but thought I’d mention a system which evidently works quite well in the Seattle area. The Review Board is like the old bulletin boards of early internet days. But is very well organized and regulated. The board is clearly meant to align hookers and johns, with a difference. The gals are not hassled by the law as the group self-regulates and is extremely supportive of each other. Helps that they have awfully powerful customers as well.

    Rates are clearly delineated, security relies on others vouching for newbies who then build a reputation which opens other doors. The providers and hobbyists easily communicate. Nearly all the websites are of high qualities. There are a number of other sites which are crass. One of the reference systems that also contributes to safety and privacy is an international one “P-411”.

    Pimping is unheard of in this association. The gals are clean, tax payers, most with other occupations and a lot of college degrees. $300-500 hr and 10-15% reduction for 2 hrs. One’s enquiry and can be declined. Oh and they have boy girl parties for Christmas, Valentine’s and some sort of Summer function.

    In addition to the previous posted comments, what is the difference between using ones genitalia and boxing or circus acts or other very physically demanding activities? As far as one can tell, TRB ladies really enjoy sex and take part as they will. Not trafficked or forced. When a partner loses nearly all libido but the other still craves touch, a monthly visit or two is relief although the relief is not inexpensive. But then budget your time.

  2. happy, not sure who you are calling a troll, but others are tired of your incoherent rants about Frank Sinatra, the Iran Contra Affair, hip hop music and anything else your tinfoil hat has recently picked up.

  3. My old man would say, “If you’re going to talk out of your butt, @ least be considerate and stand on your head when you do it.” You don’t fight drug addiction by LYING to young people. The entire “Just Say No” fiasco was a lie. It did not work, we are an addicted nation. We are addicted to legal booze, legal prescription meds. and street drugs, in that order. But, I think Nancy’s astrologist said it was a good program. I don’t care if Democrats or Lithuanians made fun of it. Whomever ridiculed it were correct in doing so. I am amazed we are even having this discussion. Wait, we’re not, I don’t discuss drug addiction w/ Nancy Reagan lovers. I just say no,

    1. Nick – you do not understand Just Say No or addiction programs. One of the keys of AA is “You cannot get drunk if you don’t take the first drink.” That is just say NO. Just Say No was based on the same idea, but based to fight peer pressure.

    2. ] Former SMU Dean Arrested On Prostitution Charges
      People

      JONATHAN TURLEY
      Feb 7 at 10:47 PM

      To

      me

      Nick Spinelli commented: “My old man would say, “If you’re going to talk out of your butt, @ least be considerate and stand on your head when you do it.” You don’t fight drug addiction by LYING to young people. The entire “Just Say No” fiasco was a lie. It did not work, we are an ”
      Respond to this comment by replying above this line
      New comment on JONATHAN TURLEY

      Nick Spinelli commented on Former SMU Dean Arrested On Prostitution Charges.

      in response to jonathanturley:

      There was a shocking arrest for many in the Texas bar this week when former dean of Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law John B. Attanasio was charged under prostitution laws. Attanasio, 60, is free on $500 bail for the class B misdemeanor.

      My old man would say, “If you’re going to talk out of your butt, @ least be considerate and stand on your head when you do it.” You don’t fight drug addiction by LYING to young people. The entire “Just Say No” fiasco was a lie. It did not work, we are an addicted nation. We are addicted to legal booze, legal prescription meds. and street drugs, in that order. But, I think Nancy’s astrologist said it was a good program. I don’t care if Democrats or Lithuanians made fun of it. Whomever ridiculed it were correct in doing so. I am amazed we are even having this discussion. Wait, we’re not, I don’t discuss drug addiction w/ Nancy Reagan lovers. I just say no,

      This comment was gone?????

      Its a good comment. I hope you read my document lol. Yes, we are indeed an addicted nation and in the land of de nial 😉

  4. Nick, you are correct. This is America, and intelligent people know how to voice their respective opinions without accusing others of babbling drivel. Obviously, you missed that lesson, as well as many others. Nothing I stated constitutes drivel, and I was not babbling. I do not accuse others of being ignorant when they espouse opposing opinions, and I don’t accuse former First Ladies of being idiots because their platforms were ridiculed. She took a stance, which she believed in, and you call it idiotic and counterproductive. Why? What did she do to contribute to drug addiction? She may not have succeeded in curtailing anyone’s drug use, but to call her campaign idiotic and counterproductive is as offensive as it is disrespectful. She may have used, as you call it, a vapid phrase, but she was trying to use her notoriety to do something positive. Whether she succeeded or not is irrelevant; she did nothing to contribute to drug addiction, as you have suggested.

    Lay off whatever it is you are smoking, snorting, shooting or ingesting. Your brain has turned to oatmeal.

    1. tellingitlikeitis

      Nick, you are correct. This is America, and intelligent people know how to voice their respective opinions without accusing others of babbling drivel. Obviously, you missed that lesson, as well as many others.

      Lay off whatever it is you are smoking, snorting, shooting or ingesting. Your brain has turned to oatmeal.

      ??????????

      Who is this —- because one minute you make a good argument and the next, well,

      You have every right to troll the site but your personal attacks are getting tiresome and my post disappeared so I have no Idea if you even saw it

      People come here to learn and comment on Prof Turley and they are leaving because of this sort of thing.

      I have nothing further so good evening to you 😉

  5. telling, You’re still babbling drivel. But this is America. If you care to live in the Cheech and Chong caricature, that is your privilege. You are obviously ignorant about cannabis and proud of it. I’ll not waste my time any longer. You are the same ilk as the aforementioned LPN. Wallow in your ignorance. The more you pontificate, the more it is painfully obvious. Nancy Reagan was an idiot and did more to HURT drug addiction than help it. “Just say no” was idiotic and counterproductive. The results of that vapid phrase and policy are painfully obvious, if one only has a brain. Et vous?

    1. Nick – not to rain on your parade with you up on your high horse, but Just Say No worked when used correctly. I know the Democrats made fun of it, but studies have shown it was effective.

  6. I’m no Nancy Reagan, Nick, but I have a feeling that you may be either Cheech or Chong. . .whichever one is the most delusional. If you would carefully read what I wrote, which I know is difficult for you to do through that cloud of smoke, you would realize that I stated that there are beneficial components found in marijuana, and that research is still being conducted to extract those beneficial elements and eliminate the toxic and dangerous substances. I’m all for using any and all drugs that will help to alleviate suffering, either in children or adults. What I am against is the widespread sale and use of marijuana for purely recreational purposes. If that makes me Nancy Reagan, then I suppose I am Nancy Reagan, a woman whom I admire and respect. On the other hand, a comparison to Cheech and/or Chong. . .well. . .

    1. telling it like it is. I have already explained this in and e mail to Nick and you know exactly what I meant or at least I hope you did regarding the Iran Contra and Frank Sinatra’s frequent visits to the White House. Nancy Reagan had nothing whatsoever to do with the picture. It was Frankie and Ronnie. Sorry.

      If you are going to go after hip hop music as the cause of drug problems I am going to come right back and tell you there is free speech and that This went all the way back to The Contra Affair which was Covered up and then dug up with those papers I showed you and then singing about being “King of the Road” I fail to see any interest in a cover up or romance.

      It is no different and it is dishonest in the extreme-in fact i would call it hypocritical.

      That is what the hip hop group was trying to point out.

      Nick thought I was you. I told him that was me. Sorry about that I owned up to it. 😉

      Your all right

  7. telling, Are you really Nancy Reagan?You are aware cannabis doesn’t need to be smoked, don’t you? It can be vaporized, eaten, drunk, etc. I get it, Reefer Madness is a documentary in your book. Your knowledge on cannabis is frighteningly limited, but your pontificating on it, quite advanced. The CBD’s in cannabis are not psychoactive. Those are the medicinal qualities. So, these uninformed alarmists, who want to keep cannabis from children w/ uncontrolled seizures are despicable. Cannabis is the ONLY medicine that works for these kids and it saves their lives.The cannabis[eaten, not smoked!!] by kids has virtually no THC, the psychoactive component in cannabis. There are many edibles sold now w/ high CBD’s and very low, almost nil, THC. So, little Ms. Buzz Kill, you can get medicated w/o getting high. There’s an LPN here who also knows jack about cannabis, but spouts crazy talk about it as well. Read and learn and stop spouting NONSENSE!

  8. Happy. . .I am involved in the legal system, and I can assure you that pot use among 13 year olds exists. If you are outside of the system, with only a limited exposure to it, there will be a great deal of things that would surprise you. Not too sure where you arrive at the magic number of six joints, but I can attest to the fact that young kids are using drugs and alcohol. The fact that you don’t believe it, because you don’t believe that kids have access due to lack of money, is also incorrect. People of ages gain access to drugs and alcohol, many with no apparent job or income.

  9. Seriously, are you really trying to separate harm to the BRAIN, as opposed to harm to the BODY?? How many brains do you know who separately exist from the body?? Arguments such of that detract from the validity of your opinion. SMOKING pot, which involves inhaling the smoke into the lungs, has some serious effects on the body as a whole. . .the BRAIN and THE ATTACHED BODY. Who would argue that only the brain of an adolescent is affected? Saying so doesn’t make it so. Every organ in the body is impacted by the introduction of smoke into the system, be that of cigarettes or pot. If you wish to argue that researchers are now beginning to find some medicinal purposes for substances found in marijuana, that is an entirely different and separate argument. Those substances, which could benefit those stricken with cancer or Parkinsons, for example, should be extracted from the plant without the need to smoke it and be negatively impacted by the smoking of the drug.

    Fact: The brains of human beings continue to develop until the mid twenties. Pot use interferes with the proper development of those brains.

    1. telling it

      please back that up with a relevant study

      I have looked up studies on this before and found them laughable. Sorry- I am not beating the drum for drug use – far from it but it will be a cold day in hell before I am going to believe anyone smokes 6 joints a day – by themselves at 13. Where are they going to get the money.

      Just sayin

      I am more concerned right now with methamphetamine use to be honest. That really scares me as I find those people dangerous

  10. What a mugg!! I’m sure he has not have much of a choice but to pay for it. Gives the poor slob a break at least he is not doing something really stupid like murder/suicide.

  11. As stated previously, it does irreparable harm to the brain if used during adolescence. After that, you be talking outta your ass.

      1. Nick Spinnelli You better be tacking that last statement out of your ass

        Paul C. Schulte Nick – I think you better back that up

        ewwww

        😉

  12. Without question, cannabis is VERY detrimental to an adolescents brain growth during a critical stage of development. We should make every effort to prevent those under 17-18 from using cannabis. Other than that, cannabis does little harm to the body, and it pales in comparison to the lives alcohol has ravaged, both directly and indirectly.

    1. Nick – cannabis may do no harm to the body, but it does to the brain. I could tell the academic difference between my chronic marijuana users and the casual users, there was a huge way in which the brain processed information or retained it.

  13. Paul, they are probably BOTH gateway drugs. The articles that I have read specifically list pot as a gateway drug. The mention of one substance does not specifically exclude other substances. It also depends on WHO is sponsoring the study, so facts can be skewed to support whatever the SPONSORS of that study wish to present.

    1. tellingitlikeitis – you can also change the definition of “gateway drug” to make almost anything fit.

  14. Yes, Charlie, the question is whether or not there is any HARM involved in some of the actions that you listed. My answer would be a resounding yes, that various actions do, in fact, HARM society. One example that you mention is smoking pot. . .while this forum is not the proper place to list all of the research performed concluding that smoking pot has some dangerous and harmful effects on the human body, suffice it to say that smoking pot does affect the human body in some negative ways, especially reports explaining the impact of THC on the human body. While there may be some medicinal benefits involving marijuana, those benefits can be harnessed from pot without the need to actually smoke the weed. Again, studies have shown pot to be a gateway drug, which often leads to the use of stronger substances. I haven’t even mentioned the effect upon the human brain, which is still developing until a person reaches his/her mid twenties.

    Society has mandated that certain behaviors be outlawed specifically because of the harm that they not only inflict on the individual, but because of the potential harm to the community at large. So, yes, prostitution HARMS society as a whole, which is why there are laws in most, if not all, societies against it. The standard to be used is not whether this is pleasurable; rather, whether society has a greater interest in prohibiting this behavior to benefit the whole.

    1. tellingitlikeitis – marijuana is not a gateway drug, but cigarettes are. That’s what the studies show.

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