Published Date Written by David CarkhuffOn Wednesday, the initial slate of individuals charged with engaging in prostitution in Kennebunk is scheduled to appear in Biddeford District Court at 1 p.m.
For Lt. Anthony J. Bean Burpee with the Kennebunk Police Department, the ongoing investigation into prostitution in Kennebunk means the release of more names every two weeks as the town's police blotter comes out, and also it's a first for Burpee and other longtime officers, who haven't dealt with this type of case before.
"I've been here 14 years, it's the first case of this magnitude I can remember," Burpee said in an interview Tuesday. Burpee said it's his first time to deal with a prostitution case in his time at the department.
"It's not like we handle cases like this on a regular basis," he said.
In mid-October, 21 names of alleged clients in a Kennebunk prostitution case were released, and as courts ruled on proper identification of alleged "johns" caught up in the investigation, the case took on a life of its own.
The Kennebunk prostitution case garnered national headlines and stirred interest when it was discovered that the names of alleged clients to Zumba instructor Alexis Wright would become public. In September 2011, Kennebunk police were advised of possible criminal activity occurring at the dance studio located at 8 York St. in Kennebunk, according to a Kennebunk Police Department press release.
Wright is accused of running a prostitution ring out of her Kennebunk Zumba dance studio. On July 10, Maine State Police arrested Mark W. Strong Sr., 56, of Thomaston, owner of The Strong Agency, on an arrest warrant charging promotion of prostitution, a Class D misdemeanor. An arrest warrant was issued for Strong following a five-month investigation that initially began in the Kennebunk Police Department and later involved both the north and south divisions of the Maine State Police's Major Crimes Unit.
On Nov. 26, Kennebunk Police Department released another slate of names of alleged "johns" in the ongoing prostitution case. Those charged with engaging a prostitute included: Daniel A. Meyer, 41, of Raymond; David F. Burley, 47, of Biddeford; Christopher Cutshall, 52, of Portland; and Roger C. Larson, 58, of Harrison, all scheduled to appear in Biddeford District Court on Feb. 20, 2013.
The case is being coordinated with the York County District Attorney.
"We're still working in tandem with the district attorney's office," Burpee said.
Meanwhile, the Old Orchard Beach Police Department announced Monday that two women in separate incidents were arrested and charged with prostitution, following an investigation by the department's Special Enforcement Team. Allison Soucier, 42, and Krystal Harmon, 28, both of Old Orchard Beach, are scheduled to appear for an arraignment in Biddeford District Court on Wednesday, Dec. 12, Old Orchard Beach police reported.
As a result of this investigation, Scott Pipher, 34, of Portsmouth, N.H., was arrested and charged with engaging a prostitute. He is scheduled to appear for arraignment in Biddeford District Court on Jan. 30, 2013, Old Orchard Beach police reported. In conjunction with this investigation, an arrest warrant has been issued for Nicole Butler, age 30, of Old Orchard Beach, for unlawful possession of heroin and possession of hypodermic apparatus, police reported.
Old Orchard Beach police said more arrests are expected as the investigation continues.