PORTLAND — Kennebunk police identified 15 more men Friday as suspects in the high-profile prostitution case against Alexis Wright.
The latest list brings the total number of men charged with engaging a prostitute to 54.
Police have said they intend to release additional names as more court summonses are served. A total of about 150 names were found on Wright’s list of clients, according to police, prosecutors and others familiar with the case.
The principal figures in the case are Wright, a former Zumba instructor from Wells, and Mark Strong Sr., a businessman from Thomaston who investigators say was Wright’s business partner.
Wright was indicted by a York County grand jury last month on 106 counts, including promotion of prostitution, engaging in prostitution, invasion of privacy, conspiracy, tax offenses and receiving welfare benefits when ineligible.
Strong was indicted on 59 misdemeanor counts, including promotion of prostitution, violation of privacy and conspiracy.
As the third list of alleged “johns” was released Friday, a television weatherman went public to say that his name won’t be on any upcoming list.
Joe Cupo, the longtime weather forecaster for WCSH-TV in Portland, said he wanted to rebut rumors that have upset his family.
He said some customers at his wife’s shop in Freeport told her they had heard that her husband would be accused of being one of Wright’s customers.
He said he went to the station’s news director and told her, “I’d like to set the record straight.”
He recorded an interview with Cindy Williams, one of the anchors of the 6 p.m. newscast, in which he told viewers that the rumors hurt more than just the person they target.
“I’m not on the list and it’s sad that these rumors have been flying all over the place,” Cupo told the Portland Press Herald. “I did this (interview) more for my wife than for myself.”
He said he doesn’t know why people would think he is on the list of Wright’s alleged customers.
“My wife looks at me every night and says, ‘How can people say this about you?'” he said.
Friday’s list doesn’t appear to include any prominent figures.
James Andrew Ferriera, 49, of South Portland was an official with the South Portland Church of the Nazarene on Highland Avenue, said the district superintendent for Maine Nazarene churches.
Cecil Jones said Ferriera resigned from “a part-time staff” position at the church earlier this week. Jones said church officials knew that Ferriera’s name would appear on Friday’s list, but he declined to say if it was Ferriera who informed them.
He also declined to say whether that was the reason for Ferriera’s resignation. “He resigned and it was accepted,” Jones said.
The South Portland Fire Department said one of its firefighters, Jeffrey A. Rogers, also is on the list.
A release issued by the department said it doesn’t condone Rogers’ alleged actions and he might be subject to discipline.
Among those on the first two lists, released Oct. 16 and Oct. 26, were James A. Soule, a former mayor of South Portland, and Joseph Lewis, a former chairman of the Portland Planning Board.
Staff Writer Edward D. Murphy can be contacted at 791-6465 or at: