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October 23. 2012 11:23PM

Naming the johns: Public records are public

Soliciting a prostitute is a crime, and criminal charges are public record. So the argument that the names of the numerous alleged clients of alleged Wells, Maine, prostitute Alexis Wright should remain secret holds no water.

Wright is accused of running a prostitution ring out of her studio and office in Kennebunk, Maine. She reportedly had more than 100 clients. The Kennebunk Police have released the names of 21 of them after a judge ruled that the information was public record. The men all face misdemeanor charges.

One of the men is Donald Hill, who has resigned as Kennebunk High School’s hockey coach. Hill’s attorney claims that the police violated his client’s privacy. The judge, though, was correct, as were the police.

The embarrassing nature of a crime is no justification for treating its alleged perpetrators with more deference than people who commit more common crimes. Alleged shoplifters, drunk drivers and vandals have their names printed in the paper every day. Alleged johns should be spared that fate because it would embarrass them? Not so.

Public records are public for good reason, and that does not change because some people find it inconvenient.


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