Sunday 17 December 2017

Fitness teacher jailed for having brothel in studio

Alexis Wright
Alexis Wright

Nick Allen Los Angeles

A FITNESS instructor wept as she was jailed for 10 months for turning her studio in a quiet New England town into a brothel where she entertained and secretly filmed up to 150 clients.

The case of Alexis Wright (30), scandalised the picturesque seaside community of Kennebunk, Maine, which is best known for its proximity to the summer compound of the Bush family.

A police raid on Wright's studio in February 2012 provoked a guessing game about who her clients were. At least 66 local men have since been charged with engaging her services.

They include a former mayor, a high school hockey coach, a minister, a lawyer, and a fireman, whom police have publicly named.

In a deal with prosecutors, Wright agreed to plead guilty to 20 counts including prostitution, conspiracy, tax evasion and theft by deception.

She had filmed each of her clients without their knowledge and kept detailed records on spreadsheets over an 18-month period, during which time she made around $150,000 (€115,000).

Her business partner in the venture was Mark Strong (57), an insurance agent, who was separately convicted last month of 13 counts relating to promotion of prostitution and jailed for 20 days.

The married father of two, who admitted having an affair with the fitness instructor, would watch live video footage of Wright's appointments on a Skype feed to his office 100 miles away.

Emails and text messages between the two involved discussions of ledgers, payments and scheduling, and business goals including that Wright should aim for 45 clients a month. She had as little as 15 minutes between appoint- ments.

She had set up teaching Zumba, a Latin-inspired fitness programme that combines aerobics and dance, in 2010. Wright was also ordered to pay $58,000 in fines and restitution. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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