Zumba Scandal: Alexis Wright Arrested For Operating Prostitution In Dance Studio
on Oct 11, 2012 04:17 PM EDT
Residents in a small town in Maine have been rocked with an unlikely scandal, spreading embarrassment and fear that many families will be hurt.
A local Zumba fitness instructor, Alexis Wright, was arrested and charged for prostitution in Kennenbunk, Maine.
Wright, 29, was charged with 106 counts for prostitution and other charges for committing the crimes in an area that is described as having "puritanical New England left around."
Wright, a mother one, ran her operation out of her Zumba dance studio and a one-room office directly across the street with her business partner, Mark Strong.
Strong, 57 was charged with 59 counts of promoting prostitution and violation of privacy. On Tuesday, Oct. 9, both Wright and Strong pled not guilty to the charges despite local police obtaining an insurmountable amount of evidence. They were not put in jail after Tuesday's hearing; they are free on their own recognizance.
The fitness instructor and Strong secretly recorded her appointments with her clients. When local authorities raided their spaces in February, they seized over 100 hours of video featuring Wright performing sex acts with 100 clients and nearly 14,000 screen shots from seized computers, according to The New York Times. They also obtained records with clients' information and estimated the pair earned as much as $150,000.
"The state's in over its head. This case isn't ready for prosecution," said Strong's lawyer, Daniel Lilly. Wright's lawyer, Sarah Churchill, has declined to comment.
Police have already issued summonses to Wright's clients and plan to publicly release the johns' names soon. According to the report, local residents have already learned that the client list includes prestigious professionals including lawyers, doctors, law enforcement officials and a local celebrity.
"A lot of people would rather not see the names made public because it will hurt families, children and careers," local convenience store owner Dan Breton told Associated Press.
Wright lives in Wells, Maine. She opened Pura Vida fitness studio in 2010 in Kennenbunk, a town of about 10,000 people. A police affidavit released in July shows that local authorities began investigating her after hearing reports of cars coming to her studio and office at all hours.
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