The Zumba instructor from Main was released early from jail today for good behavior after being caught running a prostitution ring out of her studio. 29-year-old Alexis Write, only served six months of a ten month sentence. Her early release came due to her accepting to attend a work program as well. Her prostitution case lasted about a year and literally shook the New England Town of KenneBunk when news spread about her involvement in such activities.
Authorities began investigating the issue of a possible prostitution ring in 2011 after receiving a tip of what was going on in her dance studio. Her dance studio was finally raided by February of 2012. Court documents even showed that Alexis had taped intimate sessions within her studio and two other locations. Afterwards she was to send the explicit videos to her partner Mark Strong. According to memo for Mark’s sentencing, Alexis would not work a sexual session unless she knew that Mark was actually watching the scene on Skype over 100 miles away. Investigators found over 13,000 Skype videos on Mark’s computer and a client list of over 1oo names. Mark is a 58 year old, married father of two and admitted to having an affair with Alexis. He even helped her start-up her Zumba studio!
Mark was sentenced to only 20 days in jail for prostitution promotions and a conspiracy to promote more of the activity in March. He claims he made no profit from the prostitution but was sentenced for 13 counts of the promoting. Although he was also ordered to pay a hefty restitution of 57,000 dollars along with a 1,000 dollar fine. More than 80 other counts were dropped from Mark’s case, and major tax-related charges from misdemeanors to felonies were consecutively reduced.
What is weird is that Alexis’ Zumba dance clients had no clue that such nasty prostitution deeds were going on right under their noses. Although police did have an inclination there was something weird going on due to complaints of loud music that was coming out of an office she rented across the street from her studio, along with moaning and many men that were seen coming and going from the location.
Another weird twist came out when she was testifying in court. She claimed that Mark brainwashed her into believing that he was doing an investigation on sexual deviance problems, not acts of prostitution. Prosecutors do not believe her twisted story and say she was definitely a willing participant. Alexis lived tax-free while she made 150,000 dollars over an 18 month span and received over 40,000 in welfare benefits.
Alexis left the York county jail around 7:45 am and went to her husband, Jason Trowbridge, that was waiting in an SUV to pick her up. Alexis said, “I have no comment.”
So was Alexis Write and Mark Strong’s case handled right? It does seem that people are pretty outraged on how lightly this case was handled. In reality it does give a bad name for legit, responsible Zumba dance instructors. Such problems with prostitution always inflict a bad image onto a variety of professions. Another example would be the massage therapy profession and those who involve themselves into such explicit acts.
By Tina Elliott