KENNEBUNK, Maine — The final client charged in the Kennebunk prostitution scandal has pleaded guilty, quietly bringing to a close the case that once made national headlines.
Daniel Meyer of Raymond was fined $500 last week after he pleaded guilty in York County Superior Court to a charge of engaging a prostitute, soliciting the services of former Zumba instructor Alexis Wright.
Meyer is one of 68 accused clients, 65 of whom pleaded guilty or no contest. One of those 68 clients was convicted, one was acquitted and charges were dropped against another.
With the final guilty plea comes the resolution of the lengthy scandal that first began in the fall of 2011. Wright of Wells and her business partner Mark Strong of Thomaston conspired to run a prostitution operation out of her former Zumba studio for more than a year and a half. The case caused a local firestorm as details of Wright and Strong’s double-life unfolded, “meticulous records” emerged and charges were given. The scandalous tale caught headlines and was featured in a TLC documentary titled “Sex, Lies and Zumba.”
Kennebunk Police Chief Bob MacKenzie said the department is pleased that the case has been closed.
“Everybody is more than ready to get this behind them and move forward,” he said.
“Obviously it was a lot of work and a lot of publicity surrounding this — that’s something we really had never seen the likes of before in this town,” MacKenzie said. “To put a closure to it was a really good feeling for us as a police agency and for the community as a whole.”
Looking back on the case, MacKenzie said he knows his department “did the right thing” in pursuing charges against Wright and her alleged clients.
“We had to do what we needed to do. These cases are serious, although a lot of people think these are victimless crimes,” he said. “They in fact are not. It’s something we had to deal with.”
Wright, who pleaded guilty to 20 counts of prostitution, promotion of prostitution, evasion of state income tax and theft by deception, served part of a 10-month jail sentence. Strong was found guilty of 13 counts related to promotion of prostitution and was sentenced to 20 days in jail.