Maine Zumba instructor pleads guilty to prostitution charges

A Zumba aerobics dance instructor who ran a prostitution business on the side (while collecting welfare assistance) pleaded guilty in a Portland, ME court today. Alexis Wright's male business partner has been convicted of co-running the sex business with her. The plea deal means there will be no trial in which jurors would have had to sit through video the small-town sex worker secretly shot of her sex acts with johns. Prosecutors will recommend 10 months in prison for her, 20 days in jail for her partner.

CBS News: "There was plenty of electronic evidence, because the two kept in touch via text and email and because Wright videotaped the clients and Strong watched live via Skype. Videos showed them speaking openly of ledgers, payments and scheduling."

(Reuters, CBS; thumbnail: Portland Press Herald, John Ewing)


    1. Well, you have to make sure people stay on the moral up and up.  God forbid someone decides to make a living selling sex, and damn anyone who would take up the other side of that deal.

      The real sad part of this is that if you just legalized it, you could make sure that nothing shady is going on.  The real harm in prostitution comes from the fact that it is illegal, not that sex itself is evil.  Legalize it, and you can audit working conditions, make sure that they are getting paid and have benefits, and, perhaps most importantly, give them the ability to seek legal recourse if they get dicked over (sorry, I couldn’t help it) by someone.

      Making prostitution legal would probably lead to more people taking up the profession.  It would also eliminate a lot of the truly grievous harm that that happens in prostitution due to it existing in a black market.  Personally, I think that anyone so hell bent on keeping the number of people in prostitutes down that they are willing to let the horrors of a black market exist probably has a motivation other than the health and safety of women as their goal.

      1. Making prostitution legal would probably lead to more people taking up the profession.

        I wouldn’t bet on it. The risk is one of the attractions for some clients.

        1. The possible jail time, criminal record, etc… is definitely a deterrent though.  It’s hard to imagine that illicit thrill seekers would outnumber people who just want to be able to get good jobs.

        2. For clients, I think that while there is certainly a contingent of people that are looking for an thrill and illegality is part of the fun, but I think the vast majority are just lonely or have a kink they just can’t get met easily by others.  

          For instance, if you have a infantilism fetish and you are a guy, you are screwed.  Finding a woman (or man) who is into you enough to want to sleep with you and who wants to indulge in a kink where you put on diapers and want to nurse is a pretty solid non-stater for 99% of the dating pool.  For most prostitutes, though it isn’t an issue.  Half of their job is acting and indulging people, and someone who wants a harmless, if somewhat silly fetish indulged is a perfectly good client and probably easier to deal with than someone who wants to shove things up your ass.

          I think many of the other clients are just people who, for whatever reason, can’t get laid.  Guys have a pretty hard wired biological imperative to have sex with things often.  You can ignore it, but it isn’t pleasant.  Finding willing women to meet the demand is hard work on a good day, and for someone who is socially inept or ugly it is much harder.  A prostitute is an easy way to solve at least half of the problem.

          A prostitute working in good conditions who enjoys their job isn’t just doing good for themselves, I think they are doing good for other people.  Healthy well regulated prostitution complete with health checks, strong consent laws, and checks to keep out the exploitation found in the black market are a good thing.

    1. Portland, ME 2010 city population: 66,194
      I suppose that it’s a matter of perspective, but that seems pretty small to me.

      Edit: Also, the reporting was from Portland but the town was Kennebunk. pop 10,000

      1. Well, I dunno where one draws the line, but it’s one of the bigger cities in the state, and demographically and aesthetically is a city, not a town. Not that I am seriously butthurt, but to small-town Mainers like me, Portland is “the city.” Locals consider Kennebunk and other adjacent towns part of Portland.

        1. It’s the biggest city in Maine, but it wouldn’t make the top thousand in China or India.

    1. Why is this puzzling?  She had icky sex with her lady parts. It is important to throw the book at her, and probably some ultrasound wands as well.  What was his crime, looking at porn?  Hey, boys will be boys.

    2. You’re not. I would hope there’s a reason beyond her being the one to use her icky lady parts, but I doubt it.

  1. At first I read this as, “Marine Zombie instructor pleads guilty…”

    Forgive me my dreams.

    1. You may be thinking of another Kennebunkport-related prostitution scandal.

      Though to be fair, Jeff Gannon was never really a marine.

  2. Get paid to have intercourse on film and distributed nationwide–that’s acting in the AV industry. Get paid to have private consensual sex in your own place–that’s jail. Got it?

  3. What does the fact that she is a Zumba instructor have to do with any of this? They might as well flog the fact that she’s left-handed, or is a brunette, or enjoys romantic comedies, or anything else that is unrelated to the prostitution charge.

    1. The answer may be in the description on the Wiki page of ‘Zumba’, and why people hire prostitutes.  Like the johns, and aerobic students, we’re being invited to use our imaginations.

    2. The reason why Zumba is mentioned is because she was using her Zumba studio as a front.  Granted, it seems like a pretty bad front… I mean how many dudes take Zumba classes?  I thought that you had to be a card carrying suburban soccer mom in order to do Zumba for fitness…

  4. I’m a little confused as to what context this is being reported in: this strikes me as mainly sad. This woman’s behavior (and her who-knows-how-culpable partner) may be exploitative on the surface, but welfare benefits are pretty damned low. My mother had to turn to under-the-table work many times to support us, without having her benefits reduced in proportion. And then there’s the fact that this woman turned to prostitution. I hope we don’t all assume that she’s laughing maniacally as she lives the good life having sex for money. This is not supposed to be a moral criticism, but there are a fuck of a lot of people forced into the trade for many reasons who wouldn’t otherwise be there.

    1. Why should we care if she IS “laughing maniacally as she lives the good life having sex for money?” Why is selling a product to a willing buyer and enjoying your job immoral?

      1.  The amount of places I’ve worked where management seemed to deliberately immiserate their underlings makes me wonder if they don’t actually see enjoying your job immoral…

  5. Did you all miss the part about her secretly recording her johns? Whatever you believe about prostitution, she deserved jail time for that at least.

    1. If it’s guys with big dicks, it’s pornography.
      If it’s local attorneys, public officials, and a television newscaster …

  6. I live in the Boston area, and the Globe has been all over this story for months. Can someone please explain to me what is interesting or newsworthy about it??

  7. I think the reason that she was recording the sessions is so that she could later potentially extort money out of the clients. Regardless of what your position is on legalizing prostitution, I think we can all agree that extortion is not cool.

  8. She should have done this in Nevada. Stupid that getting paid for sex is against the law. If we as a society think of prostitution as bad and against the law why do we not view pornography in the same light? There really isn’t much different as far as the acts go and porn pays more.The only difference is a camera really. You’re still getting paid to do something that feels good. 

    I do agree though that filming your johns without their consent is lame and should not go unpunished. But getting paid for sex? I mean…come on. I would love to get paid for sex.

  9. They got the sentences reversed.  Stop punishing the workers and giving the management and johns a slap on the wrist.

  10. Who did the bulk of the crime here? The article focuses on the instructor as the perpetrator, but somehow the unnamed *male* partner got double her sentence. So what was it, not mentioned above, about his actions versus hers made him the one deserving of more punishment?

    1. He got 20 DAYS; she got 10 MONTHS. Sorry to bust up your men’s rights pity party.

      Oh, who am I kidding? I’m not sorry at all.

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