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Zumba teacher in prostitution bust leaves jail

  • ASSOCIATED PRESSIn this Aug. 15, 2013 file photo Alexis Wright, the fitness instructor who ran a prostitution ring out of her dance studio, is sworn in during a hearing at York County Superior Court in Alfred, Maine. Wright was sentenced to 10 months in jail.
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    In this Aug. 15, 2013 file photo Alexis Wright, the fitness instructor who ran a prostitution ring out of her dance studio, is sworn in during a hearing at York County Superior Court in Alfred, Maine. Wright was sentenced to 10 months in jail.

ALFRED, Maine >> The Zumba instructor who ran a prostitution business in which she videotaped unsuspecting clients so her business partner could watch from his office 100 miles away has been released from jail, bringing to a close a scandal featuring sex videos, adultery and a client list with more than 100 names. 

Alexis Wright left the York County Jail about 9:45 a.m. Saturday after serving nearly six months of a 10-month sentence that was reduced because of good behavior and participation in a work program. 

She got into a waiting sport utility vehicle without commenting.

The scandal erupted a year ago in an unlikely place, a small town known for its beaches, New England charm and proximity to former President George H.W. Bush’s seaside estate in Kennebunkport. 

Wright’s prostitution business came as a surprise to her fitness clients but not to police officers who’d become suspicious after fielding complaints about groaning, loud music and men coming and going from an office Wright rented across the street from her studio. 

According to police, her business partner, Mark Strong of Thomaston, watched the sexual encounters unfold in real time on a computer in his insurance business office. In a twist at her sentencing, Wright divulged that she believed her business partner had tricked her into believing she was a secret operative investigating sexual deviance. 

Prosecutors didn’t buy Wright’s story, saying investigators continue to believe the 30-year-old Wright was “a willing participant” in the prostitution business. 

Detailed records over an 18-month period indicated Wright made $150,000 tax-free. She also collected more than $40,000 in public assistance, prosecutors said. 

Strong, a 58-year-old married father of two, acknowledged having an affair with Wright and helping her start the fitness studio but said he didn’t profit from the prostitution. He was convicted of 13 counts related to promotion of prostitution and sentenced to 20 days in jail. 

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