The trial of the Zumba instructor who was at the center of a salacious prostitution and conspiracy scandal finally came to an end on May 31. Alexis accepted a plea bargain to 20 misdemeanor counts that will land her in jail for close to a year.
Alexis Wright, 30, sat in a Maine courthouse on May 31, struggling to fight back tears as her trial came to a close. She had just been sentenced to 10 months in jail on counts of prostitution, conspiracy, tax evasion, and theft by deception, among others, but she professed that she was glad to finally be able to move on from her former life.
Alexis Wright: ‘I’m Free From This’
“In my eyes I’m free. I’m free from this,” she told the judge. “I have an incredible amount of strength that I knew was in me somewhere. Now that I have the strength I want to encourage others to come forward. I want them to know that there’s at least one person out there who’ll believe their story, no matter how crazy it seems.”
Alexis had been accused, along with her former partner Mark Strong, of running a prostitution business that videotaped over 100 clients without their knowledge, as well as making $150,000 tax-free and wrongfully receiving $40,000 in public assistance. Alexis was originally charged on 106 counts — the plea bargain she agreed to knocked that number down to 20, all misdemeanors.
Alexis Wright’s Scandal Whips Maine Into Frenzy
The scandal had sent the small seaside town of Kennebunk, Maine into a frenzy, as Alexis’ list of over 150 clients included many prominent figures, including an ex-mayor, a high school hockey coach, and a minister. So far, 68 of the accused clients have been charged and more than half have been convicted, according to the Associated Press. 40 more remain under investigation.
Alexis’ partner Mark was convicted on 13 counts relating to promotion of prostitution, and was sentenced to just 20 days in jail.
As the court proceedings wound down, the judge echoed Alexis’ belief that she can move on from these horrible mistakes and become a better person. “Based on what you have to say and what I know about you from your attorney, I know that you will succeed when you’re released and that you will prevail,” the judge said. “I wish you success.”
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— Andrew Gruttadaro