The dance studio/ brothel prostitution ring case- judge dismissed 46 out 59 charges against man accused of running a sex trade in Zumba studio
On Friday the judge dropped most of 59 charges against man accused of running the Zumba prostituion ring. Justice Nancy Mills dismissed 46 of 59 misdemeanor counts against Mark Strong, who pleaded not guilty to all the counts, including conspiring with dance instructor Alexis Wright, who stands accused of using her dance studio as a front of prostitution ring,
Most of the dropped charges relate to invasion of privacy of people prosecutors say were prostitution clients videotaped without their knowledge.
Mills said she didn’t think Strong could be found guilty on the invasion of privacy counts. Strong’s attorneys had argued people committing a crime — in this case engaging in prostitution — have no right to privacy.
Lawyers for the state said they would appeal the mass dismissal to the Maine Supreme Court.
Tina Nadeau, one of Strong’s lawyers, was concerned that the appeal would result in a delay that would be prejudicial to Mark Strong. Potential jurors were waiting for a fourth day in the courtroom basement and could blame the defendant for delays, she said.
Mark Strong, who’s married, has acknowledged having a sexual relationship with Alexis Wright after helping her launch her Pure Vida fitness studio by co-signing for her lease and loaning money that was repaid with interest. He said he was unaware of prostitution and did nothing wrong.
Police said Alexis Wright videotaped many of the sexual encounters without her clients’ knowledge and kept records suggesting the sex acts generated $150,000 over 18 months.
Alexis Wright- pleaded not guilty, faces 106 counts including prostitution and invasion of privacy for acts performed in her dance studio and in a rented office.