TODAY | October 13, 2012
>>> it's the story making waves at an upscale beach front community. there's an alleged prostitution scandal that involves a zumba instructor and a list of up to 100 clients that could soon be made public. here's nbc's michelle franzen .
>> reporter: it's not the type of scandal you'd expect to find in a quiet new england town. allegations of a prostitution ring , and the wait to find fout the list of clients some described as well-known figures in the community will be made public.
>> people are chattering they just want names.
>> reporter: names of clients in a so called black book , accused of paying for sex with local zumba dance teacher alexis wright at her studio in maine. residents aren't just talking. some are going all out buying t-shirts that say "i'm not on the client list." in court this week, the fitness instructor and mother pleaded not guilty to 106 counts of prostitution, tax evasion, theft, and privacy violation.
>> she has a son that she's caring for and for whom she's tried to make life as normal as possible. and like wise, the individuals who are on this alleged list have the same issue.
>> reporter: an attorney representing two of the accused clients filed an injunction and lost to keep police from releasing the names, but an appeal is pending.
>> the mere naming of them -- again, once the horse is out of the barn, the damage is done.
>> reporter: court documents revealed details of the investigation, including hours of secretly recorded video of sexual encounters and video of multiple sexual activities between wright and her business partner mark strong . she's charged with 59 counts of promoting prostitution and privacy violation. his attorney says strong is innocent.
>> they're inside the studio and she was naked. but that is not a crime under maine law , nor is it prostitution.
>> reporter: the case has drawn national attention, much like other high profile prostitution cases, from the soccer mom madam, to new york former governor eliot spitzer .
>> whenever you have media attention as a defense attorney , the problem is it's very difficult to plea bargain when everybody is watching the case.
>> reporter: but in this small town , experts say a case like this could have a bigger and more damaging effect.
>> this is like the 2012 scarlet letter . it's the shame that will live on and be i think very hard for the community to deal with.
>> reporter: for "today," michelle franzen , nbc news, new york.