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Shaming johns: Maine case reflects trend of police publicizing names of prostitute patrons

A Maine town that has begun naming dozens of alleged customers of a dance instructor arrested on prostitution charges is the latest community to join a trend in law enforcement: shaming those accused of paying for sex.

Kennebunk is part of a new Web database tracking more than 870 municipalities that have launched initiatives targeting men who buy sex.

It's part of a four-year study funded by the National Institute of Justice that found police departments nationwide are increasingly holding up "johns" to public scrutiny.

Surveys find prostitution customers fear publicity about the charges more than fines or even jail.

Tactics include putting their names in the newspaper and their faces on TV, billboards and online. Sometimes police send "Dear John" letters to the homes of those accused of buying sex.

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