POSTED: 4:51 a.m. HST, Oct 17, 2012
LAST UPDATED: 11:55 a.m. HST, Oct 17, 2012
KENNEBUNK, Maine » A long-time high school hockey coach whose name appeared on a list of 21 men accused of paying a local Zumba fitness instructor for sex has stepped down.
Kennebunk High School coach Donald Hill announced Tuesday he wouldn't seek to renew his contract for next season for personal reasons after 14 years as head coach, school Superintendent Andrew Dolloff said Wednesday.
Police on Tuesday released the names of the first batch of men to be summoned after being accused of engaging a prostitute.
Hill, 52, was listed alongside a former mayor and several businessmen. The coach, who's from Old Orchard Beach, a few towns north of Kennebunk, didn't immediately return a cellphone message seeking comment Wednesday. Men from Massachusetts and New Hampshire also are on the list.
Kennebunk, a town of about 10,000 residents known for its beaches, sea captain's mansions and New England charm, was thrust into the media spotlight after 29-year-old Zumba instructor Alexis Wright was charged this month with engaging in prostitution in her dance studio and in an office across the street.
Police said Wright videotaped many encounters without her clients' knowledge and kept meticulous records suggesting the sex acts generated $150,000 over 18 months.
Wright, from nearby Wells, has pleaded not guilty to 106 counts of prostitution, invasion of privacy and other charges. Her business partner, 57-year-old insurance agent and private investigator Mark Strong Sr., from Thomaston, has pleaded not guilty to 59 misdemeanor charges.
Police have said more than 150 people are suspected of being johns. The first release of their names attracted attention from around the world.
Town residents who are growing weary of the attention can look forward to repeating the scenario several more times as names trickle out.
The police department plans to release the remaining names of john suspects every other week as they're issued summonses, meaning the disclosures could continue until the end of the year. The next batch is due Oct. 26.
It will take months for all the summonses to be issued and for all the john suspects to have court appearances, police Lt. Anthony Bean Burpee said.
Around town on Wednesday, people were still talking about "the list" and what other names might be on it. But some locals were fed up of the spotlight.
"People are definitely sick of all the news vans on Main Street," said Travis Munroe, general manager of H.B. Provisions, a general store and deli.
Munroe said that while some resent the incessant media attention, there's still plenty of interest in the case.
"We're selling newspapers, that's for sure," he said, noting that the local newspapers sold out Wednesday morning.
He said "that list" is what everyone's concerned about.
"It's like a car accident," he said. "You can't help but look."