December 26, 2012

One 'jane' joins accused 'johns' on Kennebunk prostitution list

Kennebunk police charge a Shapleigh woman – as well as her husband – with engaging a prostitute.

By Scott Dolan sdolan@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

KENNEBUNK — Police added just one name Friday to the list of people accused of being prostitution clients of Alexis Wright, identifying the first woman charged with engaging a prostitute in the case.

Since mid-October, Kennebunk police have released lists of names on their biweekly blotter. The first list named 21 men who were charged in the prostitution case.

Subsequent lists have contained fewer names, and only three people have been named this month.

On Friday, police said Denise J. Sillon, 58, of 476 Shapleigh Corner Road in Shapleigh was charged with engaging a prostitute. She is scheduled to appear in Biddeford District Court on Feb. 20.

Police say she's the wife of a man who is charged with engaging a prostitute, according to The Associated Press. Dennis Sillon, 54, of the same address was charged in October.

The investigation has centered on Wright, a former Zumba instructor from Wells who is charged with running a one-woman brothel from her studio in Kennebunk.

Wright, who turns 30 on Sunday, has pleaded not guilty to 106 counts, including promotion of prostitution, engaging in prostitution, invasion of privacy, conspiracy, tax offenses and receiving welfare when ineligible.

Her alleged partner in the operation, Mark Strong Sr., 57, of Thomaston, has been indicted on 59 misdemeanor charges of promotion of prostitution, violation of privacy and conspiracy to commit those crimes. He also has pleaded not guilty.

Strong is scheduled to stand trial in January. Wright's trial is tentatively set for May.

Wright reportedly kept detailed records of more than 150 clients, including some prominent figures.

So far, at least 11 of the men accused as "johns" in the investigation have been found guilty, including three who pleaded guilty this week.

The York County District Attorney's Office identified the 11th man this week in response to a Freedom of Access request by the Portland Press Herald.

Roger C. Larson, 58, of 5 S. Beech Road in Harrison, pleaded guilty to engaging a prostitute. His attorney appeared on his behalf Dec. 17 in York County Superior Court

Larson was fined $600 and assessed $130 in court costs and fees.

Another one of the 65 people, Derek M. Chapman, 32, of 461 Cumberland Ave. in Portland, was sought on an arrest warrant after failing to appear in Biddeford District Court to face the charge on Wednesday. He appeared on Thursday, paid $200 bail and was given a new court date of Jan. 23.

Staff Writer Scott Dolan can be contacted at 791-6304 or at:

sdolan@mainetoday.com

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