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Zumba prostitution trial jurors shown video with sex-for-cash exchange

Mark Strong Sr., right, sits with his attorney Dan Lilley, left, during his arraignment, Oct. 9, 2012, in Portland, Maine, on 59 charges, including promotion of prostitution and violation of privacy in connection with a Kennebunk Zumba dance studio. Strong Jr. entered a plea of not guilty. AP Photo/Joel Page

Mark Strong Sr., right, with his attorney Dan Lilley, left, during Strong's arraignment on October 9, 2012.
AP Photo/Joel Page
(CBS/AP) ALFRED, Maine - The jury in the trial of Mark Strong Sr., an insurance agent charged with promoting prostitution at a Kennebunk, Maine Zumba studio,  watched a video Thursday showing a sexual encounter between fitness instructor Alexis Wright and a man, which ended with him leaving cash on her massage table.

PICTURES: Zumba instructor accused of prostitution

Prosecutors say Wright was getting paid to have sex and that Strong was watching the encounters live from his office 100 miles away via video chat.

On the video, recorded via Skype, Wright makes chitchat with an older man as he undresses before they engage in sex acts. Afterward, she uses wipes from a plastic container to clean up, shows the man to the door and then talks to another man, presumably Strong, at the other end of the Skype chat.

Prosecutors say the video was made without the prostitution client's knowledge.

Computer expert Frederick Williams of the Saco Police Department told jurors the video was recovered from a device belonging to Wright and that Strong's computer in Thomaston had 45 snapshots made from the same video.

He also described recovering a ledger from Wright's computer with entries from Oct. 5, 2010, through Feb. 13, 2012, the day before police raided her home, office and Kennebunk studio. He also found a key that described various sexual acts, and those matched with the sex acts - and a $250 payment - with the client on the video.

Strong faces 13 counts that relate to promoting prostitution. A judge previously dismissed 46 counts of invasion of privacy over prostitution clients who were said to have been videotaped without their knowledge.

He and Wright have pleaded not guilty. She'll be tried at a later date.

Strong, 57, of Thomaston, contends he had an affair with 30-year-old Wright and helped her launch her Pura Vida dance studio in Kennebunk but that he was unaware of any paid sex.

The prostitution scandal attracted international attention last fall after it was reported that Wright had ledgers indicating she made $150,000 over 18 months and had more than 150 clients, some of them prominent.

Complete coverage of the Zumba Prostitution Scandal on Crimesider

  • Crimesider Staff

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