Kennebunk police still investigating prostitution case, but say ‘some people we will never charge’

Kennebunk Police Chief Robert MacKenzie speaks to reporters outside the York County Courthouse in Alfred on Wednesday, March 6, 2013, after a jury convicted Mark Strong on 12 counts of promoting prostitution and one count of conspiracy to promote prostitution.
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Kennebunk Police Chief Robert MacKenzie speaks to reporters outside the York County Courthouse in Alfred on Wednesday, March 6, 2013, after a jury convicted Mark Strong on 12 counts of promoting prostitution and one count of conspiracy to promote prostitution.
By Jennifer Feals, York County Coast Star
Posted May 30, 2013, at 10:48 a.m.

KENNEBUNK, Maine — As admitted prostitute Alexis Wright is due to be sentenced to jail Friday, police are continuing to investigate approximately 40 cases of alleged clients who may have used her services.

Wright, 30, of Wells will be sentenced Friday morning in York County Superior Court in Alfred. Wright pleaded guilty March 29 to 20 charges that she worked as a prostitute for more than a year and a half out of her Kennebunk Zumba studio.

Under a plea agreement, she is set to serve 10 months in jail and pay more than $57,000 in fines and restitution to the state. As part of the deal, three felonies against Wright have been reduced to Class D misdemeanors.

A total of 60 men and one woman already have been charged with engaging a prostitute. Twenty-nine of those individuals have pleaded guilty while others have requested jury trials.

None of the potential 40 more clients who are under investigation have been charged yet. Kennebunk police Lt. Tony Bean Burpee has said charges could come this summer.

Investigators are analyzing evidence in these cases to determine whether the several elements needed for the charge of engaging a prostitute have been met, as well as to determine whether proof beyond a reasonable doubt has been reached.

“Where it only takes probable cause to charge, the prosecution needs to prove that charge beyond a reasonable doubt,” Bean Burpee said. “There will be some people we will never charge who are allegedly on that list.”

While Wright was indicted on 106 charges, ranging from prostitution and invasion of privacy to welfare fraud, 86 of the counts against her were dismissed under the plea agreement, including 46 invasion of privacy counts.

She pleaded guilty to 14 counts of engaging in prostitution, one count of promotion of prostitution, two counts of evasion of state income tax and two counts of theft by deception, all misdemeanor charges.

Wright pleaded guilty one week to the day after her co-conspirator Mark Strong was sentenced to jail for being her pimp.

Strong, 57, of Thomaston was in March found guilty of 13 counts related to promotion of prostitution. He was sentenced to 20 days in York County Jail, which was reduced by five days for good behavior. He was released April 5.

http://bangordailynews.com/2013/05/30/news/portland/kennebunk-police-still-investigating-prostitution-case-but-say-some-people-we-will-never-charge/ printed on September 19, 2014