Police release 21 names in Zumba sex case
KENNEBUNK, Maine (AP) – Police on Monday released the first round of names of people they say paid for sex with a Zumba fitness instructor charged with running a prostitution operation out of her studio.
Justice Thomas Warren earlier Monday denied a motion seeking to block disclosure of the names of people accused of being johns at the studio in the seaside community Kennebunk.
An attorney for two of the people had filed a complaint asking the names be kept private and criminal charges not be pursued. But attorney Stephen Schwartz says an appeal is unlikely.
Kennebunk police Monday evening released the names of 21 people who have been issued summonses to appear in court.
Zumba instructor Alexis Wright has pleaded not guilty to 106 counts of prostitution, invasion of privacy and other charges. Her business partner faces 59 misdemeanor counts.
The prostitution charges and ensuing publicity, which reached across the country and beyond, came as a shock in this small town, which is well-known for its ocean beaches, old sea captains’ mansions and the neighboring town of Kennebunkport, home to the Bush family’s Walker’s Point summer compound.
Some people say they had their suspicions about Wright, but others were totally in the dark about the energetic dance instructor who introduced many local women to Zumba, a Latin-flavored dance and fitness program.
Alison Ackley, who participated in Wright’s class, said she had no inkling she might have been leading a double life.
“I thought she was a little, not risque, but a little flirtatious with a couple of the male participants in the class,” Ackley said. “But it’s Zumba. You’re there to have fun. I didn’t think anything of it.”
Not everyone wanted the list to be released, however.
“I think it’s a matter for the police, and not for us to know,” resident Josiah Currier said.