No plea deal reached between Wright, prosecutors in Kennebunk Zumba prostitution case

Posted March 13, 2013, at 2:58 p.m.
Defense attorney Sarah Churchill fields questions from reporters outside the Cumberland County courthouse Wednesday in Portland. Churchill joined her client, Alexis Wright, in a settlement conference Wednesday with prosecutors from the York County district attorney's office. Wright is accused of running a prostitution business out of her Kennebunk Zumba studio alongside Mark Strong Sr., who was found guilty of 13 promotion of prostitution-related charges the previous week.
Jennifer Feals | York County Coast Star
Defense attorney Sarah Churchill fields questions from reporters outside the Cumberland County courthouse Wednesday in Portland. Churchill joined her client, Alexis Wright, in a settlement conference Wednesday with prosecutors from the York County district attorney's office. Wright is accused of running a prostitution business out of her Kennebunk Zumba studio alongside Mark Strong Sr., who was found guilty of 13 promotion of prostitution-related charges the previous week.

PORTLAND, Maine — There is no plea deal between the state and accused prostitute Alexis Wright.

After four hours behind closed doors at Cumberland County Court Wednesday, Assistant District Attorney Patrick Gordon emerged to say no deal has been hammered out between the state and Wright, 30, of Wells, who stands accused of 106 charges related to a Kennebunk prostitution operation.

“There was no agreement reached,” said Sarah Churchill, Wright’s attorney. “Discussions will keep going.”

Churchill said trying to diminish fines and avoid jail time are always the goal in negotiations.

When asked for the date of the next discussion, Churchill said she had no comment.

Wright emerged on her own from a side door at the courthouse wearing a beige peacoat, black stockings and beige heels. She offered a “no comment” before walking down the sidewalk to her vehicle.

News of Wright’s deal discussion came exactly one week to the day after her alleged co-conspirator, Mark Strong Sr., was found guilty of 13 charges by a jury of his appears. He will be sentenced March 21.

Prosecutors built a case that Strong, a 59-year-old Thomaston insurance company owner, photographer and private eye, was Wright’s partner in crime, running license plates on prospective clients, instructing her on how to best videotape her paid sexual encounters and signing the lease on the Zumba studio where some of the encounters took place.

Wright’s defense attorney, Daniel Lilley, said Strong was Wright’s lover but not her pimp. The jury didn’t buy that argument, convicting Strong after just four and a half hours of deliberations.

If no plea deal is struck, Wright is expected to go to trial in May.

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