US man prisoned in Zumba paid-sex case
Portland (Maine): An insurance agent was ordered on Thursday to spend 20 days in jail for helping run a prostitution operation out of his mistress's Zumba studio and watching the secretly videotaped sex acts in the small northeastern town better known for its beaches and sea captains' homes than for crime.
Before being sentenced, Mark Strong Sr. Apologised for the pain he'd caused his family, and his wife broke down in sobs while making a plea to the judge for leniency.
"I do apologise for each of my selfish actions and the harm that I have caused many. Most importantly I want to apologise to my wife, my two sons and my entire family because I've caused so much hurt in so many ways, emotionally, physically and financially," Strong said, his voice choking.
Prosecutors say Strong was involved in every facet of the Kennebunk operation with fitness instructor Alexis Wright, monitoring her calendar, reviewing her ledger, collecting dossiers on clients and watching the sexual encounters streamed to his office computer 100 miles away in Thomaston.
Strong even suggested ways to boost profits by marketing to higher-paying fetish clients and engaging in paid sex acts with multiple men at the same time, prosecutors said.
"This was not a man in love. This was not a voyeur. This was hard-nosed businessman," said Deputy York County District Attorney Justina McGettigan, who asked the judge to sentence Strong to 364 days in jail, noting that the prostitution continued last year even after police raided Wright's studio, office and apartment in Kennebunk.
Defence lawyer Dan Lilley asked for a maximum of 14 days in jail, telling the judge that police and prosecutors were overzealous in an investigation into fizzled with only two defendants and mostly minor charges.
Wright is due to stand trial in May. She faces 106 counts including prostitution, privacy violations, tax offenses and welfare fraud.