The coastal Maine town of Kennebunk has been rocked by an alleged prostitution operation at the Pura Vida Zumba studio. Charges were brought against Alexis Wright of Wells and Mark Strong of Thomaston in a case that has gained national media attention. A list of 150 "johns," including some prominent names, has kept residents talking and the case in the headlines.

Ex-Kennebunk prostitute to fight having to testify in alleged client's trial
August 12, 2013
Alexis Wright, now in jail, is on the witness list as the first case of one of her alleged 'johns' goes to trial.

Kennebunk prostitute: I was conned by my partner
May 30, 2013
Alexis Wright's lawyer will argue Friday that she believed she was working as a secret operative for Mark Strong Sr.

Newly released texts show Zumba prostitute had busy schedule
April 16, 2013
They also reveal how integral Mark Strong Sr. was to Alexis Wright's Kennebunk operation.

Kennebunk police investigating 40 more prostitution suspects
April 12, 2013
They will be making 'a final charging decision by summer 2013,' according to a news release.

Alexis Wright pleads guilty, will go to jail
March 29, 2013
The accused Kennebunk prostitute reaches a deal that will allow her to avoid trial and any felonies.

Alexis Wright, prosecutors begin new round of plea talks
March 28, 2013
The case against the key figure in the Kennebunk prostitution scandal could be resolved by the end of today.

Defense: Verdicts in Zumba trial not valid
March 18, 2013
Lawyers for Mark Strong Sr. says prosecutors never spelled out specifically how Strong's actions promoted prostitution.

Bill Nemitz: Amid tawdry details, the beauty of our jury system
March 7, 2013
When it's all said and done, the people who say the least are the ones whose opinions matter most.

Strong's conviction bad sign for Alexis Wright
March 6, 2013
Wednesday's verdict could lead to plea discussions for the alleged Kennebunk prostitute.

Strong found guilty on all 13 counts in Zumba case
March 6, 2013
The Thomaston businessman says he's not surprised by the verdict, which ends a trial that has captured international attention.

Attorney: 'Love' drove defendant in Zumba case
March 5, 2013
But the prosecution's closing argument depicts Mark Strong Sr. as a shrewd man who helped run an illegal business.

Prosecution rests case in Zumba trial
March 4, 2013
In a surprise move, the state wraps up its testimony without calling any convicted "johns" to the witness stand.

Police first thought prostitution case was part of major crime network
March 3, 2013
A leading detective even considered early on that corrupt police might be involved in a conspiracy.

Clients to be called as witnesses in prostitution case
March 3, 2013
The lead prosecutor says she intends to call only eight more witnesses in the prostitution case.

Lilley seeks payment from state
March 3, 2013


What's a 'pimp'? Question at core of Zumba trial
March 2, 2013
Meanwhile, a Kennebunk police officer testifies Mark Strong is the man speaking to Alexis Wright in videos of her trading sex for money.

Judge walks fine line in deciding what explicit evidence to allow
March 1, 2013
While trials for prostitution are rare in Maine, prosecutorial strategies that involve so many graphic videos and photos are even rarer.

Jurors see sex videos in Zumba trial
February 28, 2013
Prosecutors show evidence suggesting that Mark Strong watched Alexis Wright have paid sex with her clients.

Zumba jurors watch video showing naked Wright
February 27, 2013
The video shows the alleged prostitute putting on a strip tease for men outside her studio window.

Evidence complaint rejected in Zumba case
February 26, 2013
Meanwhile, the judge and lawyers review pornographic videos to determine which ones should be allowed into evidence.

'Very sexual' photos at issue in Zumba case
February 25, 2013
The prosecution says the photos are proof of prostitution, but Mark Strong's lawyers say they are too 'prejudicial' to show in court.

Police personnel records requested in prostitution trial
February 25, 2013
Mark Strong Sr.'s attorney files a motion for records of all police officers who are scheduled to testify.

Detective: Evidence mishandled in Kennebunk prostitution case
February 22, 2013
Mark Strong's lawyers say the hard drive is key to his defense.

Witness saw accused Zumba prostitute disrobe; 'really awkward'
February 21, 2013
Meanwhile, Alexis Wright's landlord testifies that tenants complained about "moaning and groaning" and he found video-recording apparatus in her studio.

Strong was smitten lover, not 'pimp,' lawyer says
February 20, 2013
During opening statements of the Kennebunk prostitution trial, Strong's lawyer says his client fell in love with Alexis Wright and tried to help her, but was not her "pimp," as police allege.

Judge: Prosecutors can't be called as witnesses in Zumba trial
February 19, 2013
Meanwhile, jury selection will resume Wednesday in the high-profile case after nearly a month's delay.

Dismissal of 46 counts upheld in prostitution case
February 15, 2013
The state's high court agrees to throw out invasion-of-privacy charges against Mark Strong Sr. for allegedly taping sexual encounters involving prostitution clients.

Maine high court to hear appeal in Kennebunk prostitution case
February 12, 2013
Prosecutors are seeking to restore 46 invasion-of-privacy counts against Mark Strong Sr., 57.

Prosecutor: Kennebunk 'johns' have a right to privacy, too
February 13, 2013
Maine's highest court is urged to reinstate 46 invasion-of-privacy charges against Mark Strong Sr. in the prostitution case.

Alexis Wright's lawyer seeks to aid co-defendant in Zumba trial
February 4, 2013
Prosecutors want 46 invasion-of-privacy counts reinstated against Mark Strong for videotapes of alleged prostitution clients, but Wright's lawyer says the clients had no expectation of privacy.

Stalled Zumba trial still awaiting action by high court
January 28, 2013
Potential jurors were told via a hotline Monday morning not to report to York County Superior Court in Alfred for jury selection.

Wright's attorney to lobby for co-defendant in Zumba appeal
January 30, 2013
Prosecutors want 46 invasion-of-privacy charges reinstated against Mark Strong, Wright's alleged co-conspirator in the high-profile prostitution case.

Kennebunk prostitution trial delayed until Feb. 13
January 29, 2013
The prosecution is asking Maine's high court to reinstate 46 invasion-of-privacy charges that were dismissed last week.

In tumult of Zumba trial, judge provides firm hand
January 29, 2013
Justice Nancy Mills brings her reputation for being tough and fair to a prostitution case complicated by legal skirmishes and media scrutiny.

Judge to decide how to proceed in Kennebunk prostitution case
January 28, 2013
Jury selection still hasn't been finished. Members of the jury pool who called a court hotline Monday morning were told to call again Tuesday.

Appeal has Zumba trial in limbo
January 28, 2013
The dismissal of 46 counts against Mark Strong led to an appeal on Friday, with no date set for a restart.

Prostitution trial judge dismisses 46 of 59 counts
January 25, 2013
Prosecutors immediately appeal the decision by Justice Nancy Mills, and the trial against defendant Mark Strong Sr. in the Kennebunk case grinds to a halt.

Highest court halts secret Kennebunk jury selection
January 24, 2013
Justices side with the newspaper and order the prostitution case screenings opened to the public.

Zumba judge: Won't reconsider decision to exclude media
January 24, 2013
Justice Nancy Mills spoke from the bench briefly Thursday morning after an attorney for the Portland Press Herald appeared to argue that the jury selection process should be opened.

Strong's defense has 12 witnesses on list
January 23, 2013
Separate from the trial in Alfred, two men admit to engaging a prostitute and 11 others plead not guilty.

Newspaper objects, but Kennebunk juror review still secret
January 23, 2013
A jury may be seated by Thursday morning in the prostitution case, followed by opening arguments.

Kennebunk prostitution jury pool quizzed in secret
January 23, 2013
The Press Herald files an objection with the court, saying the judge's decision violates the First and Sixth Amendments.

Can Kennebunk prostitution suspects get fair trial?
January 21, 2013
With jury selection set to start Tuesday in the trial of Mark Strong Sr., one attorney says, "I don't think you could (find) an impartial jury on Mars."

No plea deal for Kennebunk prostitution case defendant
January 18, 2013
And in a 'bittersweet' ruling, Daniel Lilley loses his bid to withdraw as Mark Strong's defense attorney. The trial starts Tuesday.

Kennebunk prostitution case defendant Strong in plea talks
January 18, 2013
If the plea talks fall through, Mark Strong Sr. is scheduled to stand trial Tuesday in York County Superior Court.

18 men who pleaded guilty make Kennebunk prostitution witness list
January 17, 2013
If they hoped to quickly put the scandal behind them, they may be out of luck.

Two sides to discuss plea in Kennebunk prostitution case
January 16, 2013
Mark Strong, a local businessman who is accused of co-running a prostitution business with a Zumba instructor, wants a deal with no jail time.

Attorney in Kennebunk prostitution case asks to quit
January 15, 2013
With Mark Strong Sr.’s trial scheduled to start Tuesday, Daniel Lilley says his client can no longer afford to pay him.

Lawyer asks for more time in Kennebunk prostitution case
January 15, 2013
The attorney for Mark Strong, the alleged business partner of suspected prostitute Alexis Wright, wants to postpone the trial until at least Feb. 19.

Boston magazine weighs in on Kennebunk prostitution case
January 4, 2013
Fresh on the heels of Vanity Fair's story on the alleged prostitution scandal in Kennebunk, "Boston" is offering its own take on the case.

Magazine opus: Scandal in a Maine town exposed anew
January 4, 2013
Illicit sex in a quaint New England town? It's no surprise Vanity Fair was drawn to Kennebunk.

Motions rejected in Kennebunk prostitution case
January 2, 2013
The trial of Mark Strong Sr., a key defendant in the Kennebunk investigation, is now set for Jan. 22.

One 'jane' joins accused 'johns' on Kennebunk prostitution list
December 21, 2012
Kennebunk police charge a Shapleigh woman – as well as her husband – with engaging a prostitute.

2 men guilty, third doesn't show in Kennebunk prostitution case
December 20, 2012
Many others had pleaded not guilty in advance as 18 of the 64 suspects named so far answer a summons.

Wright's son to live with dad until prostitution case resolved
December 17, 2012
Alexis Wright is the woman at the center of the Kennebunk prostitution scandal.

Judge affirms separate trials for key figures in Zumba case
December 17, 2012
Mark Strong's attorney also makes a motion to have key evidence thrown out and the case dismissed, which the judge will rule on later.

Zumba case lawyer to argue illegal search
December 11, 2012
The attorney for Mark Strong says officials also have not disclosed everything found in searches in the high-profile prostitution case.

Two more suspects identified in Kennebunk prostitution case
December 7, 2012
Police say the investigation, which has now charged at least 64 men, is "slowing down."

Three found guilty in Kennebunk prostitution case
December 6, 2012
A judge fines the men $600 to $1,000 each in a case that has gained international attention.

Accused Kennebunk 'johns' to appear in court Wednesday
December 4, 2012
Just three of the 21 men who were summonsed for arraignment are expected to attend.

First alleged 'johns' to have day in court Wednesday
December 3, 2012
Defense lawyers say they may also call suspected johns to the stand in the Kennebunk case.

One or two trials in Kennebunk prostitution case? Lawyers can't agree
November 28, 2012
Prosecutors have appealed for a single trial, but the parties hope to resolve the issue before a judge rules.

Evidence files given to Zumba teacher's lawyer
November 27, 2012
Kennebunk police also release the names of four more of Alexis Wright's alleged clients in the high-profile prostitution case.

Judge to keep Kennebunk prostitution affidavits sealed
November 21, 2012
The documents, used to request search warrants, are usually made public after the indictments, but haven't been in this case.

Kennebunk prostitution list includes many in construction
November 19, 2012
Yet there is no obvious link among alleged clients in the prostitution case other than the charge against them.

Four men fined in Kennebunk prostitution case
November 14, 2012
The men plead guilty before receiving a criminal complaint and pay fees and fines ranging up to $970.

Four men plead guilty in Kennebunk prostitution case
November 13, 2012
Meanwhile, Justice Nancy Mills agrees Alexis Wright and Mark Strong Sr. should not be tried together.

Lawyers want separate trials in Zumba case
November 13, 2012
Daniel Lilley, Mark Strong's attorney, says his client should be tried separately from Alexis Wright, who faces more serious charges.

Kennebunk police release 15 more names in prostitution case
November 13, 2012
Meanwhile, a local TV weatherman goes public to say his name won't be appearing on any upcoming list.

Prostitution case invites legal scrutiny
November 8, 2012
Some observers question the deliberate pace in the prosecution of the Kennebunk case, but experts say it may be an effort to keep it from ‘spinning out of control.

Filing: Alleged Kennebunk prostitute posed naked with son
November 7, 2012
The 7-year-old's father calls the pictures inappropriate and requests full custody.

Court papers in Zumba case describe confiscated items
November 2, 2012
Investigators initially were looking for information in relation to Alexis Wright's website, documents show.

Kennebunk police charge 18 more alleged 'johns' in prostitution case
October 26, 2012
Unlike the first list of 21 court summonses, this list has no immediately recognizable names.

Maine insurance agent accused of promoting prostitution
July 10, 2012
Mark Strong, who owns The Strong Agency in Thomaston and is a former city official, was arrested by the Kennebunk and state police.

Too-busy dance studio led to suspicion of prostitution
July 11, 2012
Neighboring tenants of an office site in Kennebunk noted it was frequented by men for short stays.

Attorney says suspect in prostitution case was hired to investigate
July 13, 2012
Mark Strong was being retained to look into alleged harassment, his lawyer says.

Alleged johns may be called in Kennebunk prostitution case
August 21, 2012
The lawyer for the man facing trial threatens to subpoena everyone involved in the case.

Lilley: Evidence not provided in Kennebunk prostitution case
August 23, 2012
Mark Strong's lawyer also questions how his client could be charged with promotion of prostitution when no alleged prostitutes have been charged.

Bill Nemitz: Slow-moving prostitution case has lots of people squirming
August 24, 2012
The "johns" list allegedly includes lawyers, doctors, politicians and other well-knowns, which has made attorneys Dan Lilley and Sarah Churchill more popular than ever . . .

Lawyer to argue for dismissal of Kennebunk prostitution case
August 31, 2012
The lawyer for Mark Strong Sr. says prosecutors haven't provided him with documents and other evidence as required under the rules of discovery.

Suspect's image, arrest at odds in prostitution case
September 1, 2012
A respected Thomaston businessman and community leader fights charges linking him to a Kennebunk operation.

Suspicions loomed over dance instructor’s Kennebunk operation
September 1, 2012
Alexis Wright, who started teaching Zumba in Kennebunk in 2009, finds herself at the center of a prostitution investigation.

Portland judge assigned to Kennebunk prostitution case
September 10, 2012
There was a concern that judges in York County might have to recuse themselves if they knew any witnesses, the court says.

Defense asks for new judge in Kennebunk prostitution case
September 12, 2012
A prosecutor's husband is the judge's law clerk, which could result in bias or the appearance of bias, according to Daniel Lilley, the lawyer for Mark Strong.

Prostitution case should be dismissed says lawyer
September 14, 2012
The lawyer for Mark Strong Sr., accused of promoting prostitution, is also asking the judge to recuse herself.

Judge refuses to dismiss Kennebunk prostitution case
September 14, 2012
Justice Joyce Wheeler also denies a motion to step down in favor of a new judge.

New judge assigned to Kennebunk prostitution case
September 24, 2012
Justice Nancy Mills is the second judge to preside over the high-profile case of Mark Strong, a well-known businessman accused of promoting a Maine prostitution operation.

Judge in Kennebunk prostitution case recuses herself
September 21, 2012
Justice Joyce Wheeler's decision comes a week after she had declined to recuse herself, although it's not clear why she changed her mind.

Clients on alleged Kennebunk prostitution list likely to be charged
September 27, 2012
The case, which apparently involves well over 100 alleged "johns," could go to a grand jury next month.

Newspapers fight gag order in Kennebunk prostitution case
September 28, 2012
Prosecutors have asked for a ban on any dissemination of information in the case, but two newspapers argue a lack of transparency hurts public confidence in the system.

Agent, instructor face 165 charges in prostitution case
October 4, 2012
A prosecutor says the number of people charged in the alleged Kennebunk operation is likely to grow.

Alexis Wright indicted in Kennebunk prostitution case
October 3, 2012
She faces charges of prostitution, tax evasion and invasion of privacy, and a prosecutor says the number of people charged in the case is likely to grow.

Police set to charge alleged clients in Kennebunk prostitution case
October 4, 2012
Summonses are being prepared for more than 150 people, including prominent figures.

Kennebunk residents ready to see 'the list,' then turn the page
October 5, 2012
An alleged prostitution operation involving prominent people has townspeople curious, but a little weary, too.

Suspect in Kennebunk prostitution case seeks dismissal
October 8, 2012
Mark Strong's lawyer is again asking a judge to dismiss the original promotion-of-prostitution charge.

Theft charges carry harshest penalties in Kennebunk prostitution case
October 8, 2012
Alexis Wright is accused of not reporting $150,000 income and wrongfully collecting welfare and food stamps over a several-year period.

2 charged in Kennebunk prostitution case plead not guilty
October 9, 2012
Alexis Wright of Wells and Mark Strong Sr. of Thomaston entered their pleas in a Portland courtroom today.

Bill Nemitz: Innocents, innocence will suffer from 'the list'
October 7, 2012


Child porn assertion has suspect crying foul
October 10, 2012
Mark Strong's attorney says prosecutors ought to be sanctioned if they can't back up comments made in a prostitution case.

SPECIAL SECTION: Kennebunk Prostitution Case
August 19, 2013



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