Photos show Strong, Wright knew each other for years

Posted Oct. 05, 2012, at 6:41 p.m.
Mark Strong
Mark Strong
The Pura Vida-Zumba dance studio in Kennebunk.
Matt Wickenheiser | BDN
The Pura Vida-Zumba dance studio in Kennebunk.

KENNEBUNK, Maine — A York County Coast Star investigation has uncovered evidence that Kennebunk Zumba instructor Alexis Wright and Thomaston insurance agent and private investigator Mark W. Strong Sr. knew each other for years before a police investigation started on an alleged prostitution operation at Wright’s Route 1 studio and High Street office.

Strong, 57, was arrested and charged in July with promotion of prostitution in connection with an investigation into activities at the Pura Vida Studio and an office space in Kennebunk, both operated by Wright, as well as Wright’s Wells home, according to a police affidavit. Wright was indicted Wednesday in York County Superior Court on 106 counts, including prostitution, tax evasion and violation of privacy.

Photographs posted on the Web page for Strong Photography, as well as a modeling site created by Wright, reveal that the two knew each other as far back as 2008. The photographs of a woman who appears to be Wright date back to 2008 and carry Strong’s signature watermark — “Photo by MWStrong.” In many of the photos, the woman is nude or nearly nude.

Photos of the woman who appears to be Wright carrying Strong’s watermark also appear under a modeling profile for “Lexi” online. While the profile was created in 2009, some photos on the site are copyright dated in 2008. A click through to Lexi’s full profile reveals her name as Alexis Wright and contains an additional photograph, this one also bearing the “MWStrong” watermark.

Dozens of photos (some the same from the modeling site) of the woman who appears to be Wright, carrying Strong’s watermark, are listed for sale at a website purporting to promote pornography stars. A profile for “Lexilove,” on whose page the photos are posted, has been active since 2010 and says the woman is 28 years old, single and from Maine.

The woman states she is a single mom going to medical school to become a doctor and that buying the photos — which can be downloaded for $2 each — will help pay her way through school.

“Who knows, maybe I will be treating you someday!” the woman writes.

In an “About Me” section of the profile, she states, “I enjoy working with people and feel that the human body is to be enjoyed visually and physically.”

On two websites, Strong Photography is touted as “a fashion model agency and professional fashion consultant” that “assists in helping models develop a professional portfolio.”

Strong’s attorney Daniel Lilley, of Portland, said in August that evidence will show Strong was hired to investigate Wright’s complaints that she was being harassed by the Kennebunk Police Department. Lilley said Strong and Wright also shared a mutual interest in private investigation.

Strong also invested in Wright’s Zumba studio and loaned her money, Lilley said, which he said his client believed was a good business investment.

Police, however, have said that they recovered records linking Wright and Strong, as well as evidence that Strong used databases to search potential clients for Wright.

The affidavit says the search of Wright’s properties revealed “meticulous” client records including pricing and videos of Wright having sex with men who were unaware they were being filmed. The so-called client list is said to contain well more than 100 johns, and prosecutors have said they plan to charge some, but not all, of those clients with prostitution-related offenses.

Kennebunk Police have said its investigation has been going on for several months, but that prior to the investigation, they had no contact with Wright.

Lilley did not return multiple requests for comment for this story.

Wright’s attorney, Sarah Churchil,l said she had no comment.

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