A Zumba instructor has pleaded not guilty to charges that she ran a brothel from her fitness studio and secretly filmed illicit encounters with clients.
Alexis Wright, 29, appeared in court today charged with 109 counts including prostitution and tax evasion.
Miss Wright, of Wells, Maine, is alleged to have taped herself having sex with men who were unaware they were being filmed and kept meticulous books suggesting she made as much as $150,000 from prostitution.
Fitness front: Alexis Wright, from Maine, is alleged to have had 150 clients visit her for sex at a fitness studio in Kennebunk
Zumba scandal: Alexis Wright, 29, appears in court in Maine today charged with 109 counts of prostitution after allegedly running a brothel from a fitness studio
Police have issued summonses to Wright’s alleged 150 customers, some of whom are well-known, who visited the brothel at her Pura Vida studio in Kennebunk.
Some clients were expected to be charged next week after police conducted a five-month investigation into the illegal goings-on at the gym.
Anonymous tip-offs led police to the scandal occurring after hours at Pura Vida , according to the Bangor Daily News.
Mark Strong Sr, a 57-year-old insurance agent and Wright’s alleged business partner, also pleaded not guilty to 59 counts of promoting prostitution, invasion of privacy and conspiracy at the Portland courthouse.
Strong’s lawyer, Daniel Lilley, said his client loaned money to Wright in the belief that her Zumba studio was a good business venture.
Zumba is a global fitness craze where participants work out using a blend of dance and aerobics moves to Latin music.
Started in 2001, the program is now followed by 14 million people in more than 150 countries.
Working out: Wright, 29, allegedly ran a brothel from Pura Vida studio in Kennebunk
Craze: The Zumba dance craze has swept the world and the Latin-inspired workout is now followed by 14 million people (stock image)