ALFRED, Maine (AP) — The process finding a jury untainted by international news coverage of a prostitution scandal got under way in fits and starts Tuesday in the trial of the business partner of a Zumba instructor accused of using her dance studio as a front for prostitution.
More than 140 potential jurors were called into the courtroom Tuesday before being dismissed to fill out questionnaires in the trial of Mark Strong Sr., who faces 59 misdemeanor counts including conspiring with Zumba instructor Alexis Wright.
Strong, 57, has said he helped Wright launch her Pura Vida dance-fitness studio in Kennebunk by co-signing for her lease and loaning money that was repaid with interest.
He acknowledged having a physical relationship with Wright but said he never paid her for sex. He denied engaging in any criminal conduct.
Police said Wright videotaped many of her encounters without her clients’ knowledge and kept meticulous records suggesting the sex acts generated $150,000 over 18 months. A lawyer who has seen the client list says it totals more than 150. So far, more than 60 people have been charged or pleaded guilty. Some of them will be called to testify.