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October 17, 2012

Similar names stir trouble in Maine Zumba prostitution case

KENNEBUNK, Maine (AP) — Paul Main’s quiet evening was shattered by a phone ringing off the hook and a half-dozen TV crews showing up on his porch. Everyone wanted to know: Was he the same Paul Main who’s been accused of visiting a prostitute in Kennebunk?

The answer was no. But a decision to release the names of alleged prostitution clients without any ages or addresses caused big problems for men who have the same names as the accused, until a judge deemed more information should be public.

For weeks, rumors about a prostitution business have run rampant in this small New England town best known for its proximity to the Bush family summer compound in neighboring Kennebunkport.

On Monday, authorities released the first batch of names out of more than 150 men accused of paying a Zumba fitness instructor for sex.

“I don’t have a problem with releasing names. I think it’s a wonderful thing, but I’ll be darned if it’s right to do it in a shoddy manner,” said Main, a retired spokesman and head of the detective division for the York County Sheriff’s Department.

The addresses, ages and other identifying information of the johns were withheld after a judge ruled that state law required them to be kept confidential because the alleged sexual encounters may have been videotaped, making the men potential victims of privacy invasion.

Yesterday, Superior Court Justice Thomas Warren reversed his decision, ruling in favor of a request from The Portland Press Herald newspaper that sought the release of the addresses and other information.

Kennebunk police re-issued the names with the added details. The revised list included former South Portland Mayor James Soule and suspects from more than a dozen towns in Maine, as well as one from Boston and another from New Hampshire. The men ranged in age from 34 to 65 and also included a lawyer, a forester and a real estate appraiser.

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