Accused "Zumba Madam" Pleads Not Guilty
Maine prosecutors say Zumba fitness studio was front for prostitution.
A man and woman accused of running a prostitution ring out of a Zumba fitness center in Kennebunk, Maine have made their first appearances in court.
Alexis Wright and Mark Strong both entered pleas of not guilty to all of the charges against them.
The judge in the case also had some harsh words for the state's handling of the case.
The judge called the state's handling of the case unacceptable in regards to giving the defense information its entitled to.
The prosecutor told the judge it's a complicated case involving 13,000 photo images, hundreds of hours of videos and dozens of text messages.
The judge gave the state a little more than week to provide a detailed list of all the evidence against the defendants.
After the hearing Alexis Wright and her attorney rushed away.
Neither had much to say.
Inside court Wright entered pleas of not guilty to more than 100 counts against her including engaging in prostitution, tax evasion and theft by deception.
The latter charges are more serious felonies that carry penalties of up to ten years in prison.
Investigators allege Wright ran a prostitution operation out of her Zumba studio in Kennebunk and taped her encounters on video equipment set up by Mark Strong, an insurance agent from Thomaston.
Strong also pleaded not guilty to all charges against him.
His attorney claims he hasn't been allowed to see most of the state's evidence against his client, and in the meantime Strong's business, marriage and reputation have already been destroyed by the allegations.
"They've taken a case, a small case and blown it into a nightmare, but they're not prepared to go forward on it", said Strong's attorney Dan Lilley.
The judge refused to the keep information in the case sealed including the now infamous list with the names of clients.
It's not likely that list will become public until later this week when police begin releasing the court summonses they issued.