Maine town's agony prolonged in prostitution case

Associated Press Modified: October 12, 2012 at 6:47 pm •  Published: October 12, 2012
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Schwartz took the case to the state Supreme Judicial Court and vowed "to fight to the end for our clients."

The appeal asked the court for an expedited hearing on the appeal. The earliest that can happen is Monday.

"We fully expect that they won't be convicted, but the damage is done once the horse is out of the barn," he said.

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.

"She was very professional. She was an amazing dancer and she held a good class, so I liked going," Ackley said. "I thought she was a little, not risque, but a little flirtatious with a couple of the male participants in the class. But it's Zumba. You're there to have fun. I didn't think anything of it."

Her mom, Kim Ackley, said she hopes the names are released soon so people can move on with their lives.

"The list will be released eventually. They're just doing everything they can to stall it," she said. "Everybody is really ready to see who's on the list."

Not everyone wants the list to be released, however.

"Do I agree that what the men did was right? No. But I think it's a matter for the police, and not for us to know," said Josiah Currier, a resident.

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Sharp reported from Portland.