So it's almost upon us, the fifth installment in the infamous Zumba Whorehouse Scandal "List" series will arrive here at around 4 p.m. EST on Friday, December 7. The alleged johns are implicated in the sex scandal that has rocked the small town of Kennebunk, Maine.
On Wednesday, December 5, 21 of the already-charged john suspects were due to appear in court in Kennebunk facing the charge of engaging a prostitute. Of the 21, just two entered guilty pleas. A third offered a plea of no contest. The other 18 are all saying they were getting Zumba dance lessons from Alexis Wright, or some other excuse, because they're pleading not guilty.
The 21 are just a fraction of the 150-or-so alleged johns charged with paying Zumba dance instructor Wright for sex in the quiet Maine town of Kennebunk. Local police spokesman Lt. Bean Burpee has said police are sifting through huge amounts of evidence and are charging those who they have necessary evidence against.
Of the 21 who were supposed to be in Biddeford District Court on Wednesday morning, only three were there in person; the others were all able to submit their pleas in written form.
Those who admitted their guilt were dealt the following by Judge Andre Janelle:
Claude S. Palmer, 47, pleaded no contest, paid $700 fine.
Kenneth A. Fairbanks, 54, pleaded guilty, paid $1,000 fine.
Paul A. Main, 43, paid $600 fine.
Main had originally submitted to obtain a jury trial, but later in the afternoon he changed his plea to guilty and was fined. No indication has been given as to the why there is such disparity in the fines.
Main's brother-in-law, Robert Dion, told the Bangor Daily News:
I think the authorities should focus their attention on bigger crimes. They should never have put their physical addresses out there.
In entering written pleas many of the high-profile johns, including former South Portland mayor James Soule and high-profile attorney Jens Bergen, avoided the media gaze that was on Biddeford District Court on Wednesday morning.
Meanwhile, Wright is facing 106 charges including prostitution, tax evasion, and benefit fraud. Her alleged partner, Mark W. Strong, a former private investigator, is charged with 59 counts of criminal invasion and promotion of prostitution.
As we approach the fifth list, we've had 62 men named so far as part of the operation that involves both local and Maine state police. The names are being gradually bled out into the public domain through the Kennebunk police bi-weekly blotter.
Another 15 of the alleged johns are scheduled to appear in court on December 15.