Share This Page

Maine Zumba teacher pleads guilty to prostitution

| Friday, March 29, 2013, 9:03 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — A dance instructor accused of using her Zumba fitness studio as a front for prostitution pleaded guilty on Friday to 20 counts in a scandal that captivated a quiet seaside town.

The agreement, which followed a second day of plea negotiations on Friday, spares Alexis Wright from the prospect of a high-profile trial featuring sex videos, exhibitionism and pornography. Prosecutors will recommend a jail sentence of 10 months when she's sentenced on May 31.

Wright quietly answered “guilty” 20 times when the judge read the counts, which include engaging in prostitution, promotion of prostitution, conspiracy, tax evasion and theft by deception.

The 30-year-old Wright was accused of conspiring with insurance agent Mark Strong Sr. to run a prostitution business in which she kept detailed records indicating she made $150,000 over an 18-month period. She also was accused of using a hidden camera to record sex acts without her clients' knowledge.

She was originally charged with 106 counts. All of the counts in the agreement were misdemeanors, including three counts relating to welfare and tax fraud that were reduced from felonies.

Strong, 57, of Thomaston was convicted this month of 13 counts related to promotion of prostitution and sentenced to 20 days in jail. He was originally charged with 59 counts.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.