May 25, 2018
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More names of alleged johns in Kennebunk prostitution case due today

Matt Wickenheiser | BDN
Matt Wickenheiser | BDN
The Pura Vida/Zumba Studio in Kennebunk has been the focus of an investigation by Kennebunk police into suspicious activities, including possible prostitution, that began in September 2011.
By Seth Koenig, BDN Staff

KENNEBUNK, Maine — Kennebunk police are expected today to release another batch of names of men accused of paying for sex at an alleged prostitution business in the town.

Today’s announcement would be the fourth biweekly installment in the incremental release of names of alleged johns in this high profile case, which has garnered global media attention. The previous three releases identified a total of 54 men accused of being clients of Alexis Wright, who police believe ran a prostitution business out of her Kennebunk fitness studio alongside Thomaston businessman Mark Strong.

Both Wright and Strong have pleaded not guilty to a slate of charges stemming from the alleged operation.

Another four men pre-emptively pleaded guilty to the charge of engaging a prostitute and did not appear in the biweekly list of summonses, bringing the number of alleged johns thus far to 58.

Investigators have said Wright kept meticulous records, including a client list with more than 150 names on it. At the current rate of between 15 and 21 announced summonses about every two weeks, the incremental release of alleged clients could drag on another two months.

Thus far, the list of men charged includes former South Portland Mayor James Soule, former Kennebunk High School hockey coach Donald Hill, local lawyer Jens Bergens, former Portland Planning Board Chairman Joe Lewis and former Church of the Nazarene Pastor James Andrew Ferreira.

Kennebunk police are including the names of men charged with engaging a prostitute in their biweekly blotter, which was regularly scheduled to be released on Friday. But because of the holiday week, the release was postponed until Monday afternoon.

Kennebunk Lt. Anthony Bean Burpee has said investigators are combing through massive amounts of evidence in the case, including videos Wright is alleged to have made of her encounters with clients, and they are issuing summonses to accused johns as they collect enough evidence to do so.

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