Maine Zumba instructor pleads guilty in prostitution case
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) -- A dance instructor accused of using her Zumba fitness studio as a front for prostitution pleaded guilty Friday to 20 counts in a scandal that captivated a quiet seaside town.
The agreement that followed a second day of plea negotiations 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 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.
"We're very satisfied with it. It's an appropriate outcome, given the gravity of her actions," Assistant Attorney General Darcy Mitchell said after the brief court hearing.
The 30-year-old Wright was accused of conspiring with insurance agent Mark Strong Sr. to run a prostitution business in which she kept 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 originally was charged with 106 counts. All the counts in the agreement were misdemeanors, including three counts relating to welfare and tax fraud.
Strong, 57, of Thomaston, was convicted this month of 13 counts related to promotion of prostitution.