February 27, 2013

Zumba jurors watch video showing naked Wright

By Scott Dolan sdolan@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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Alexis Wright and Mark Strong Sr.

File photo

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Wright, 30, of Wells, is scheduled to stand trial in May on 106 counts, including promotion of prostitution, engaging in prostitution, violation of privacy, conspiracy, tax offenses and receiving welfare benefits when ineligible.

The case has drawn international attention, in part because Wright is suspected of keeping a meticulous list of customers, including prominent figures. Sixty-six have been charged, and 18 had been convicted by the end of 2012.

The text messages that jurors reviewed Wednesday were not shown to the court audience or read aloud.

Strong and Wright exchanged nearly 21,000 text messages from February 2010 to February 2012, a state police investigator testified earlier this week.

Williams, the Saco detective, testified Wednesday that he was able to reproduce all of the messages from Wright's cellphone.

Williams said he also analyzed a computer hard drive that was seized from Strong's home and insurance business in Thomaston on July 10, 2012, and recovered emails between Wright and Strong that included a spreadsheet listing names.

Jurors were given copies of those emails to read, but the emails were not shown to the court audience or read aloud.

Williams said the video that the jury saw Wednesday was recovered from the recycle bin of an external computer hard drive that was seized from Wright's property on Feb. 14, 2012.

He said he recognized her in the video from her Bureau of Motor Vehicle photo records. He said there is no way to determine when the video was recorded.

The pictures that jurors saw were recovered from a computer hard drive that police took from Strong's property, Williams said. Each photo has a date and time stamp showing when it was taken.

The video of Wright's striptease was foreshadowed by testimony last week by the manager of Toppings Pizza, which is in the same plaza in Kennebunk where Wright operated her Pura Vida Zumba studio.

Daniel Racaniello said he delivered spaghetti and meatballs to the apartment where Wright lived in Kennebunk, and she dropped the towel she was wearing as she went to pay him.

Racaniello described having Wright stand naked in front of him as "really awkward."

Prosecutors plan to recall Williams to the stand Thursday.

Scott Dolan can be contacted at 791-6304 or at:


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