2 UTC employees resign after adult bookstore sting

Images: Hamilton Co. Jail

UPDATE (Jan. 3rd, 2018):

George Heddleston, Vice Chancellor of Communications and Marketing at UTC, confirms to NewsChannel 9 that both Chuck Cantrell and Joseph Wiram both turned in their resignations on December 19th.

Depend on us to keep you posted.


A sting at an adult bookstore in Chattanooga results in three men facing charges of public indecency.

According to an arrest affidavit in Hamilton County court, Chattanooga Police's Special Investigation unit made an undercover visit to Cinema One located on Rossville Blvd on November 3rd after receiving complaints of sexual activity inside.

When they got into the theater, the affidavit claims the officer saw James 'Chuck' Cantrell & Joseph Wiram engaged in a sex act.

The affidavit also says they saw Scott Jarrett engaging in a sex act with himself.

All three were issued a misdemeanor citation.

According to Hamilton County jail records, Cantrell & Allen turned themselves in Sunday.

According to a Chattanooga Police Dept. incident report & citation, Wiram is expected to turn himself in Monday.

NewsChannel 9 has learned Cantrell serves as Associate Vice Chancellor in the Communications and Marketing department at UTC and Wiram is Coordinator for Veteran Student Service.

Sunday night, a University spokesperson issued the following statement to NewsChannel 9:"We have been made aware of the situation. We're in the process of reviewing it. It is a legal matter and as such, the university will not have a comment at this time."

UTC Vice Chancellor of Communications George Heddleston told NewsChannel 9 that Cantrell and Wiram have been put on paid administrative leave, and have been advised not to come on campus while on leave.

NewsChannel 9 reached out to the bookstore for comment.

We were told a manager wouldn't be there until Monday but a man working there denied that sexual activity takes place in the bookstore.

This is not the first time Cinema One has been in the news.

Then-Mayor Bob Corker moved to shut down Cinema One in 2002 on the basis that it was a threat to public health.

Cinema One appealed to the City Council, which held a hearing. During that hearing, police officers testified that masturbation and oral sex regularly occurred inside the business. According to testimony, these sex acts sometimes happened in plain view of employees, which had no impact on the participants.

The owner at the time, David Franklin, also testified before the City Council. Franklin said he had taken steps to stop the sex inside his business. He agreed to install surveillance cameras. And he posted signs saying that sexual activity was prohibited. Franklin also said he did not condone the behavior, but admitted that sex acts were still happening in his business even after the cameras and signs were put in.

In the end the city upheld the Mayor’s shutdown of the business and a lengthy appeal followed. The Tennessee Court of Appeals issued a ruling in favor of the city two years later.

Cinema One later reopened.

Depend on us for more details as this story develops.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off