Kennebunk, Me., police have released the names of 21 individuals accused of soliciting sex with a Zumba instructor, who is charged with running a one-woman prostitution ring out of her studio before being arrested along with a man who allegedly videotaped the encounters without the clients’ knowledge.
The names of those charged with engaging in prostitution were posted on the department’s website, per an order from a Cumberland County court; they have all been issued summonses to appear in court on Dec. 5. Late Tuesday, a judge ruled that the alleged johns’ addresses may also be released, and police are expected to re-issue the list of names. They are among a reported 150 people — male and female — who are under investigation in connection with the case.
Alexis Wright, 29, was indicted earlier this month on 106 counts that ranged from prostitution to tax evasion, court records say, and include allegations that she and an accomplice taped her encounters with several customers without their knowledge. Mark Strong, 57, her alleged accomplice, was also charged with promoting prostitution and invasion of privacy. The two are accused of running a business in which solicitors paid a total of $150,000 over the course of 14 months for sex liasons with Wright. A police affidavit says more than 100 hours of video and more than 14,000 photos were seized from a computer where they were stored. Both of the accused have pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Names and addresses on the list were previously withheld, police say, because some of the names could possibly be victims of criminal invasion of privacy.
Meanwhile, in Kenebunk and surrounding towns, there is discussion about the rest of the names linked to the case. There is some speculation that well-known figures including lawyers, politicians and even law enforcement officers may have patronized Wright’s studio. Kennebunk itself is a town of about 10,000 residents.
Despite the potential controversy, Strong’s lawyer told ABC News that he welcomes the release of the names. “I think the courts in Maine have been quite transparent in these kinds of cases, and it’s usually disclosed to the public,” said Dan Lilly. “I don’t think it should be held back in this case.”
But Wright is taking a different perspective. Her lawyer Sarah Churchill told ABC that she is reluctant to have the names revealed. “I think it’s fair to say that she wished the names didn’t come out,” Churchill said. “It’s been tough. There’s been a lot of scrutiny on her. Getting through the day in any sort of normal way has been sort of difficult.”