A fitness instructor and an insurance agent pleaded not guilty today to charges that they operated a prostitution business out of the instructor’s Zumba studio, including charges that she had sex with men who were unaware they were being filmed.
Alexis Wright, 29, and Mark Strong, 57, made their pleas in Cumberland County Superior Court in Portland, ME, SeacoastOnline.com reported. Police have begun issuing summonses to Wright’s alleged customers. Strong’s attorney said he has seen a list of about 150 customers, some of whom are well-known.
Wright and Strong were indicted last Wednesday by a York County (ME) grand jury on more than 160 charges combined, according to SeacoastOnline.com. Wright is facing 106 counts ranging from engaging in prostitution to tax evasion. Strong is facing 59 counts of promoting prostitution, invasion of privacy and conspiracy.
Three of the charges against Wright are felonies, while the remaining are misdemeanors, SeacoastOnline.com reported. All of the counts against Strong are misdemeanors.
According to court records obtained by SeacoastOnline.com, Wright and Strong set up the prostitution business in October 2010 in Kennebunk, ME. Police say the alleged prostitution business was active through February 2012, generating an income of more than $150,000.
Strong’s attorney told SeacoastOnline.com that Strong had invested in Wright’s fitness studio and had loaned her money. The studio is now closed but had been open for classes through this summer.