Soon, the Kennebunk police will release their biweekly police blotter.

On it will appear the names of people who have been issued summonses for engaging a prostitute, a minor offense for which a jail sentence is not possible.

These people are presumed innocent – but the damage will be done.

Bill Nemitz’s columns frequently show that he has his finger on the pulse of the community.

In fact, the complaint for a temporary restraining order to prevent the release of names of those charged quoted his poignant column two weeks ago in which the wife of one of the accused desperately hoped the list would not be published.

We do take issue, however, with Mr. Nemitz’s use of the word “overreaching” to describe the efforts on behalf of some of our clients who are accused in the Kennebunk cases.

The court was asked to enjoin prosecution of the cases, as well as the release of names of those charged.

Yes, our system provides that these people are presumed innocent, especially important in a case in which there are likely to be proof problems.

But that is not why the injunction was sought.

What made this different from every other case in which people are charged with crimes is that they are also alleged victims of the crime of invasion of privacy, which is a more serious crime than that with which they are charged.

The grand jury actually said that these are people with a right to not have been videotaped without their knowledge.

Those charges define them as alleged victims.

The complaint was based on constitutional principles of privacy, and the tremendous harm that would occur by the mere mention of people’s names in connection with this case, which has garnered substantial attention from the local and national media.

The harm that would be created in issuing into the public discourse their identifications at this time outweighed the need to prosecute these people for what is one of the least serious offenses in Maine, punishable by only a fine.

The complaint also contended that Maine’s victims’ rights statute bars not just the release of addresses of victims, but their names in cases this notorious, because the law provides that no information should be released from which addresses may be obtained.

Finally, the complaint argued that under Maine law, the release of information in police blotters is permissible, not mandatory, and in these particular cases, the harm that would result outweighed any interest in making the names of those accused public.

Police blotters are printed in our country because we do not live in a society of secret arrests.

However, the effect in these cases is to shame and pillory in the town square those who are merely charged.

And although those in the media regularly publish information from the police blotter, they frequently do not feel inclined to publish results from court, so many cases are disposed of with not guilty verdicts and dismissals.

What has happened since publication of the names is exactly what was feared: It has been a media feeding frenzy.

National networks have been tripping over themselves to try to find those who have been charged.

They go to the addresses listed, and start knocking on doors.

Children, spouses, employers be damned, the story is the thing.

I was told by one producer that morning TV has changed.

Somehow, someone’s personal nightmare has become fodder for entertainment in our country.

When the names are released, there will be titillation, snickers, surprise, disgust and perhaps, by some, even a measure of understanding.

Hopefully, most who read the names will simply go on with their days, and worry about their own lives.

The people who have been charged have families, neighbors and jobs.

Most are just regular people, a cross section of our community who are having their most private, vulnerable moments played out in their communities and throughout the country.

For some, their family lives and jobs are at stake.

The complaint did not seek anyone’s sympathy.

It merely attempted to avoid the media circus that has since happened.

Because whether or not the state can prove that those accused made any bargains whatsoever, one thing is clear: these people certainly did not bargain for this.

And just because the press has certain freedoms doesn’t mean that the media cannot exercise a little restraint, perhaps a little less “overreaching” of its own.