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. Ugh! Will we ever get past these stupid laws?!? Arresting adults for consensual sex–for pleasure or pay–is wrong. Let them do what they want to do, so our police can focus on protecting us from harm, not pleasure.

    How can anyone live in such a connected society where we daily witness real evil (e.g. KKK, Al quaida, ISIL) and still be upset about the pleasures of gambling, gay sex, prostitution, or pot? If something or someone is harming no one, let it go. That’s it. It’s that simple. Here’s the standard:

    IS ANYONE BEING HARMED?

    NOTE: No gods were needed (or harmed) during the creation of this made-from-logic standard.

  2. The idea that a failed news magazine’s easily gamed rankings should play a role in employment decisions is just ludicrous.

  3. btw telling

    Do you honestly think you are the only one I am talking to on here right now and having an intellectual argument with lolol. I am talking FCC with someone else now, So ta ta

      1. Paul C. Schulte

        I was being vague to shake the commenter off. Actually I was arguing with an Obama supporter who was upset with him for lobbying the FCC to take over the Internet and what that would eventually mean after it was all said and done.

        These people think you only have one conversation going at once I guess, idk. btw. I don’t care if people think I am kinda weird. Do you think I don’t know that? I am very proud of my weirdness because I feel it sets me apart and makes me special 😉

  4. happypappies, you didn’t make a grammatical error, you made a spelling mistake. Lol! That’s what happens when you are awake all night. Your theories are as confused as your spelling, including your knowledge of the difference between your and you’re.

    1. tellingitlikeitis – being the grammar Nazi can come back and bite you in the ass at just the wrong time. Autocorrect gets in the way, keyboard sticks, typing too fast, etc. JT is going to drive you crazy.

  5. I think a good night’s sleep would do you some good, including your house of cards.

    1. Your – You’re is grammar. I was thinking grammatically incorrectly. Would you like to climb inside of my brain and pick through it?

      You are really pushing it. Your facts are lame and your arguments are sad and all you have is your and you’re.

      lol

      And my sleeping habits which you know nothing about. But thanks for being concerned about them. 😉

  6. happypappies, it’s YOU’RE already wrong, not YOUR already wrong. Learn the difference if you want to say someone is wrong.

    You raised the rape example in your previous comment, so I was merely commenting on your strange comparison, in which you stated that he did not rape anyone. Somehow, anything short of rape to you is not a crime worth prosecuting.

    In response to your question. . .I don’t know. . .is your girlfriend a prostitute if you buy her a diamond and buy her gas? Only you would know that. You need to call your girlfriend what you wish.

    1. telling it like it ain’t

      I am sorry I made a grammatical error. Who cares. You got the idea, It was not a strange comparison, it was a metaphor you made an ad hominem argument out of.

      I said, and I am not quoting, but I said it was not a child molesting case, or a rape or non consensual in any way. Now, if you care to twist my words to suit your purpose it’s not going to work.

      Everyone on this blog, including Inga no matter whether she wants to admit it or not, knows that I know what I am talking about and if you are trying to trip me up, you are wasting your time. But, go ahead, be my guest. I am usually up most of the night.

      As you saw in the definition above, it is entrapment indeed if a law enforcement officer lures a person into committing a crime therefore, there would have been no crime without the officer and his little entrapment scheme.

      So, your house of cards falls down.

      And, The rest of the story was also metaphor as I am a woman in my 60s and I am married to a disabled veteran.

  7. Telling-

    “Anarchist, your name speaks for itself. ”

    Thanks.

    “You simply don’t believe in. . .”

    Don’t tell me what I believe. To save time and confusion, just let me handle that from now on.

    “Do some reading. . .”

    No. YOU made the argument, so YOU support it.

    ” Curious to know how you believe that prostitutes get so much of their business from attorneys.”

    Because I’ve known a lot of attorneys and other professionals that frequent prostitutes. It’s almost a given that a middle age single man making six digits sees hookers.

  8. Anarchist, your name speaks for itself. You simply don’t believe in the rule of law or you think that all laws. . .from those dealing with minor traffic violations to those involving moral turpitude are equal. . .they are all, indeed, laws, but they are not equal in severity. . .good luck living in your anarchy. . .you can speed all you want down the highway on your way to being entrapped by the evil police posing as prostitutes. Do some reading, and you will soon learn that prostitution is not a victimless crime. It’s not because I say so, it’s because studies have shown this to be true. Curious to know how you believe that prostitutes get so much of their business from attorneys. I suppose that you are either an attorney who frequents prostitutes or one of the prostitutes to make such a claim.

    happypappies, you should probably brush up on the legal definition of the term entrapment. There is no absurdity in requiring that all citizens uphold the law, and this individual is no different. No need for a straight jacket and no need for him to be a saint. How about the dean of a law school not getting caught up in a crime? If you believe that he should get pass because he didn’t rape someone or go after a child, that is the height of absurdity. How do you know that part of the sting did not promise the johns underage individuals? I don’t know that and neither do you. Yep, absurd.

    1. Tellingitlikeitain’t

      happypappies, you should probably brush up on the legal definition of the term entrapment.

      entrapment
      [en-trap-muh nt]

      Examples
      Word Origin

      noun
      1.
      the luring by a law-enforcement agent of a person into committing a crime.

      There is no absurdity in requiring that all citizens uphold the law, and this individual is no different.

      If you buy your girlfriend a diamond necklace or put gas in her car for the night – is she a prostitute?

      Your already wrong on your first count. This second count is a gray area

      No need for a straight jacket and no need for him to be a saint. How about the dean of a law school not getting caught up in a crime? If you believe that he should get pass because he didn’t rape someone or go after a child, that is the height of absurdity.

      We are not talking about rape so that is ad hominem at best

      How do you know that part of the sting did not promise the johns underage individuals? I don’t know that and neither do you. Yep, absurd.

      Yes – you are still absurd and up past your bed time as this would have been mentioned in the Lawyers report. That is a Lawyers report you know 😉

  9. tellingitlikeitis-

    “and the law of the land makes this illegal.”

    So what. It’s illegal to drive in excess of the speed limit as well. Do you get on your soapbox and broadcast your moral outrage when that occurs? There’s a difference between right and wrong and the law. Quit mistaking morality with legality.

    ” Despite what the proponents of legalized prostitution say, prostitution is not a victimless crime. ”

    Why, because you say so?

    “Members of the Bar are supposed to be held to a certain standard”

    If lawyers stopped seeing prostitutes, half of the prostitutes in the nation would go out of business. Lawyers seeing prostitutes is a good thing. It provides a group which experiences discrimination greater opportunity to understand their legal rights, and it keeps lawyers away from our little sisters (and your mother).

  10. No name calling on my part. . .no need to drag anyone into the gutter. . .just a simple concept. . .it’s called accountability. . .and it applies to all of us. . .despite one’s rank or position in society. . .certain individuals, however, due to their respective positions in the community, are held to a higher standard. And, yes, like it or not, there is a component of morality involved in this case, whether you like it or not.

    1. tellingitlikeitis

      Don’t you understand there is an issue of entrapment here? Do you think it would be better if he went out with a woman and had sex with her for free? Seriously? You are putting this man in a straight jacket and he is a human being not a Saint. He did not rape or hurt the woman or go to a child. He did not even commit adultery.

      This is really kind of ridiculous because it is an entrapment sting. I will just bet you it’s the only little whorehouse in Texas.

      Now, I am telling it like it is. You are being absurd.

  11. The bottom line is that this was not Nevada, Canada, Columbia or some European country. . .this was TEXAS. . .and the law of the land makes this illegal. What part of that don’t you get? Despite what the proponents of legalized prostitution say, prostitution is not a victimless crime. Members of the Bar are supposed to be held to a certain standard, regardless of the multitude of lawyer jokes on here. He broke the law and should have to deal with the consequences.

    1. tellingitlikeitis

      It seems there is a shocking propensity in the country to drag every position that once was an esteemed position such as a Counselor or a Judge or a Reverend down into the slime and make them the dregs of society Lets then call them “pimps” and the “hos” to further degrade the situation. It is the same as any racial slur imo.

  12. If he did the same thing in parts of Nevada or Canada or Colombia or some European countries it would be entirely legal. What’s the big deal? This is a tempest in a teapot.

  13. Dust bunny-

    On legalized prostitution

    “On one hand it would/could provide a better and more safe environment for the workers and for the clients. Instead of being under the control of a pimp and working on the streets. Health checks and protection from abuse. Maybe even a nice 401K and benefit package”

    Actually, legalized prostitution in this country is legalized pimping. Prostitutes in Nevada must work at a licensed brothel (pimp). The brothel takes 50% of the fee right off the top. Then they charge the ho for rental on the room they use, use of laundry facilities, etc. They will prevent the ho from any contact with the outside world while they are working (typically for a week or two at a time) so that the ho won’t be able to arrange dates outside the brothel with customers. They levy illegal charges against the ho as “fines” for violations of brothel rules. If a taxi or limo brings the client to the brothel, the driver gets 25% of the money the client spends. The ho then pays for all the medical tests, and the brothel charges them for any materials needed to perform their job (condoms, lube, etc).

    Basically, for every 300 brought in, the ho receives 60-70, which they then pay taxes on. Most legal prostitutes in Nevada will go to Las Vegas or California to work illegally because they receive so little pay when they work legally.

  14. I am sure that the good Reverend will come out smelling like a rose and will be forgiven by the good Lord Jesus and the campus will hold benefits and fundraisers in his honor

  15. Professional men avail themselves of the service of prostitutes. Hopefully this guy won’t suffer professionally for this.

    I used to post on a website called sf-redbook that began as a site to review the services of prostitutes. The moderator of the forum I posted in was a law professor, and a large number of the other posters were also attorneys. It was great- every supreme court decision was explained by highly competent professionals, every legal question received a valid answer.

    Many times professional men were hopeless geeks in their younger years and they are making up for all the women they couldn’t get in their college years.

  16. telling, The cops put a fake ad on a website luring johns to a hotel. They obviously have all the serious crimes solved in Collins County.

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