Maine Zumba teacher pleads in prostitution case

Posted: 10/09/12 at 1:15 pm EDT      Last Updated: 10/09/12 at 6:36 pm EDT

PORTLAND, Maine (WHDH) -- A fitness instructor pleaded not guilty to more than 100 charges, including prostitution, theft and tax evasion.

Alexis Wright, 29, operated a zumba fitness studio in Kennebunk, but police said she did more than dance to sweat away the pounds.

Prosecutors said they have evidence she had sex with men for money, kept meticulous records, including names and occupations and videotaped her encounters.

Mark Strong Sr., a 57-year-old insurance agent and Wright's friend and alleged business partner, pleaded not guilty to 59 counts of promoting prostitution, invasion of privacy and conspiracy. Police searched his Thomaston home and office in July.

Strong’s lawyer told 7News he has seen some of the sex tapes and a client list with more than 100 names, some well-known public figures.

“Well it’s not my job to give it to the public. I’m a defense lawyer and I use it to prepare my case,” said Daniel Lilley, Strong’s attorney.

Wright also leased second floor office space -- a woman who works at another business told 7News she saw men climbing steps for appointments quite often throughout the day.

“We would just see her coming and going, but there was a sign on the door saying she did nutritional counseling and she’s not a nutritionist,” said the woman. “And all of her clients seemed to be men.”

The witness said Wright and her clients were so noisy the landlord complained to police.

“Such as laughter, yelling, moaning,” said the woman.

She added Wright hosted a zumba party at her studio, which locals found surprising.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Have a story idea or news tip for 7NEWS?

Email: newstips@cw56.com, or call us at 1-800-280-TIPS.