Warren's decision to release names without key information "creates confusion and can damage the reputations of innocent individuals with similar names," said Cliff Schechtman, executive editor of The Portland Press Herald. "We will publish the names only when their identities are clearly revealed and verified."
Roy Peter Clark, senior scholar at the Poynter Institute, a Florida-based journalism think tank, said that just because a name becomes public doesn't mean news organizations have to race to publish it.
"What journalistic purpose is served by publishing the name, and how do you balance that against the harm that may be done to these people, their families, their children?"
Clark said the situation would be different if the name of a public figure appeared.
"If the police chief is on the list, if the school superintendent on the list, I would approach those people directly and try to determine whether their actions are not just a personal moral failure but climb to the level of social, public hypocrisy," he said.
As for local residents, they're enduring a storm of media attention that won't abate anytime soon.
The Kennebunk Police Department is releasing the names of johns who've received summons on a bi-weekly activity log, meaning the release of names could continue until the end of the year. The next batch is due to be released Oct. 26.
As a former law enforcement officer, Main said releasing the names helps hold suspects accountable for their misdeeds. But, he added, the judge should modify his decision to protect those whose only connection to the case is having a common name.
"I don't want to see other people going through the same thing that I've been through," he said.
Associated Press writers David Sharp in Portland and Glenn Adams in Augusta contributed to this report.