(KENNEBUNK, Maine) — Police have released the names of 21 men accused of paying for sex with a Maine Zumba instructor who has been charged with running a prostitution ring out of her dance studio.
The 21 men are charged with engaging in prostitution and have been summoned to appear in court in December. They are among the more than 150 men — and reportedly one woman — who are being investigated. Police say they were clients of fitness instructor Alexis Wright, 29, who has been charged with 106 counts related to her alleged prostitution ring in Kennebunk.
It’s unclear when the other names will be released.
ABC News has not confirmed the full list of names that does not include ages and addresses for the alleged clients. But two of the men on the list confirmed that they have been charged.
One of the men told ABC News that he made a mistake and is prepared to pay the consequences. Another alleged client of Wright’s said, “We will be exonerated.”
Superior Court Justice Thomas Warren denied a motion on Monday to block the list of names filed by an attorney for two of the alleged clients, who argued it would be a “harm to their personal reputations as private citizens, their professional reputations, and their professional relationships.”
Wright refused to answer questions outside of court on Oct. 9 after pleading not guilty to 106 counts, including prostitution and invasion of privacy.
“I think it’s fair to say that she wished the names didn’t come out,” Wright’s attorney Sarah 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.”
Wright’s alleged accomplice, 57-year-old insurance agent and private investigator Mark Strong, has pleaded not guilty to 59 misdemeanor charges. Police say Strong was in charge of booking Wright’s alleged clients at her Pura Vida Studio.
Prosecutors say Wright recorded some of her alleged encounters with the men, and say they have 100 hours of video evidence.
Strong’s lawyer, Dan Lilley, 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,” he said. “I don’t think it should be held back in this case.”
There is speculation that the list contains the names of well-known locals, including prominent politicians, lawyers and law enforcement officers who allegedly frequented the brothel.
The 21 men have been summoned to appear in court on Dec. 5.
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