November 19, 2012

Kennebunk prostitution list includes many in construction

Yet there is no obvious link among alleged clients in the prostitution case other than the charge against them.

By Eric Russell
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

Kennebunk police Lt. Anthony Bean Burpee said he wasn't aware of any formal connection between the men, but the case is still ongoing and police are expected to charge more suspected clients over the next several weeks.

Daniel Lilley, an attorney for Strong, the Thomaston insurance agent who police believe acted as Wright's business and romantic partner, also said he was unaware of any formal connection.

"Word of mouth gets around in any business, legitimate or otherwise," he said. "I have seen some occupations that are similar, but I have no information that they are connected."

Sarah Churchill, Wright's attorney, did not return calls for comment. Several attorneys representing some of the suspected clients declined to discuss the case or talk about any possible connection among their clients.

"I'm not aware of any connection whatsoever between the people that have been charged," said Stephen Schwartz, a Portland lawyer who represents five clients from the list. "From what I understand, people found her in myriad ways but mostly through online advertisements for massages."

Asked whether there were any word-of-mouth referrals, Schwartz declined to say.

Peter DeTroy, a Portland attorney who represents one of Wright's suspected clients, said he wasn't aware of any connection between his client and the other men.

"My understanding is that these people found her through websites," he said.

Weitzer said informal referrals likely played a role in Wright's client list, in a vein similar to recommending a mechanic, he said.

Prostitution clients do not have a standard profile, Weitzer said, although indoor prostitution typically filters out low-income, working-class clients. Women like Wright often can charge more, so the client list becomes more exclusive.

The 58 men charged in the Kennebunk case so far include some business professionals likely to have disposable income, such as the president of a savings trust company, a trustee of a local country club, the CEO of a Portland information technology firm, and a senior vice president of capital markets for a Boston-based investment company who is also a financial adviser for the town of Scarborough.

Weitzer said two things have stood out for him in the Kennebunk case: Wright reportedly filmed her encounters and posted them online. "That's the first time I've ever heard of that," he said. And Wright was relatively brazen and visible in her allegedly illegal activities.

"She opened herself up to be caught," he said.

In turn, she likely made it easier for her clients to be caught as well.

Staff Writer Eric Russell can be contacted at 791-6344 or at:

Twitter: @PPHEricRussell


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