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Zumba Prostitution Scandal: Ex-mayor among list of men who allegedly paid fitness instructor for sex

FILE - In this Oct. 12, 2012 file photo, a sign is seen near a marina in Kennebunk, Maine. Alexis Wright, 29, is accused of operating a prostitution business out of her Zumba studio in Kennebunk, secretly videotaping her encounters and keeping meticulous records of her clients. Police plan to release more than 100 names little by little over the next several weeks. The warning has set off a flurry of rumors among residents who say they?ve heard the list might include lawyers, doctors, law enforcement officials and a television personality.(AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty) Robert F. Bukaty

A sign is seen near a marina in Kennebunk, Maine, where Alexis Wright is accused of operating a prostitution business out of her Zumba studio
File, AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty

(CBS/AP) KENNEBUNK, Maine - A former mayor and men from more than a dozen towns across Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire are on the list of people who allegedly paid Zumba instructor Alexis Wright for sex at her dance studio in the small New England town of Kennebunk.

Pictures: Zumba instructor accused of prostitution

Earlier this week, police released 21 names in a "johns" list that is believed to be more than 150 names long.

The list of alleged clients includes former South Portland Mayor James Soule, as well as a lawyer and a real estate appraiser. The men ranged in age from 34 to 65. Soule did not return calls for comment from the Associated Press, nor did he answer his door.

Wright, 29, pleaded not guilty to 106 counts of prostitution and other charges after being accused of running a brothel in her dance studio and in an office across the street, as well as secretly videotaping many of her encounters. Police said she kept meticulous records suggesting the sex acts generated $150,000 over 18 months. Her business partner, Mark Strong, also pleaded not guilty to 59 counts.

The Kennebunk Police Department plans to release the the rest of the accused client's names every other week as they are issued summonses, meaning the disclosure of names could continue until the end of the year. The next batch is due to be released Oct. 26.

The release of the first batch of names initially created havoc for some innocent men who shared names with the accused.

Addresses, ages and other identifying information of the alleged clients were withheld after a judge ruled that state law required them to be kept confidential because the alleged videotapes of the sexual encounters may make the men potential victims of privacy invasion.

But Superior Court Justice Thomas Warren reversed course on Tuesday, ruling in favor of a request from The Portland Press Herald newspaper which argued that releasing only partial information was unfair to people not on the list.

"The fact is that by releasing names only, you're getting a lot of false positives. You're implicating people who may be completely innocent and simply share the same or similar names with people charged, and that's a real harm," Press Herald attorney Sigmund Schutz told The Associated Press.

Complete coverage of Zumba Prostitution Scandal on Crimesider

  • Crimesider Staff

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