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Former SMU Law School Dean Arrested

DALLAS (CN) - The former dean of Southern Methodist University's law school was arrested Sunday on a prostitution charge.

John Baptist Attanasio, 60, was booked into the Collin County jail on Sunday, according to sheriff's records. He posted $500 bond and was released.

The prostitution charge is a Class B misdemeanor punishable up to 180 days in county jail and up to $2,000 in fines.

Attanasio served three terms as dean of the SMU Dedman School of Law, from 1998 to 2013, according to the school website.

He was a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at New York University Law School in 2013-2014 before returning to SMU as a professor of law and the Judge William Hawley Atwell Chair of Constitutional Law.

SMU's decision not to renew Attanasio's contract in 2013 and to seek new leadership was met with opposition by the law school's influential alumni and donors.

Before the recent opening of the University of North Texas Dallas College of Law, SMU housed the only law school in Dallas.

Attanasio did not immediately respond to a request for comment Sunday evening.

An SMU spokesperson confirmed the Attanasio is a full time faculty member at the law school.

"It would not be appropriate, however, for SMU to comment on matter that are being investigated by area police," the school told The Dallas Morning News on Sunday evening.

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