The Kennebuck, Maine (Zumba?) Scandal
The Female Entreprenuer, Kennebunk, Maine
The following is a simple, short and sweet-as-possible, synopsis of the Kennebunk, Maine, Zumba Scandal, that has literally rocked this upscale, proud community onto it's aching back. Unless you live under a rock, by now you've heard and/or have seen some of the numerous news stories. Yes, another Heidi-Fleiss-Like tale...the stuff that tabloid reporters lust after. Those reporters are ecstatic. They may be the only ones.
Group Fitness Fever
Group Fitness Classes have been popular for a very long time, everywhere there are women (and some men) who enjoy the support group type of program that help them stay in shape, shed some pounds and simply get healthy. There are spinning classes,yoga, pilates, step aerobics and dance exercise routines. Ask any one who participates and they'll give you a healthy list of reasons why they show up two or three times a week, move their bodies and sweat profusely, all the while, feeling good and having fun. All of these groups are under the direction of trained and certified instructors. Let's move and groove to the music! Keep the pace and hold those shoulders up and back.
And then along came ZUMBA.
A Little "ZUMBA" History
In 1986, Colombian dancer and choreographer, Alberto "Beto" Perez, arrived to instruct one of his aerobics classes one evening, only to realize that he had forgotten the tape of aerobics music. Searching his backpack, he dug up several of his own personal tapes of traditional salsa and merengue music. Beto proceeded to improvise a class, using this music. His entire class loved it and encouraged him to continue to use this traditional music for all of his classes. Public response was enormous and his popular aerobics classes grew and spread throughout all of Latin America, within a few years.
In 2001, Perez moved to the United States and teamed up with Alberto Perlman and a childhood friend, Alberto Aghion, a Corporate Executive, working in America. These three men produced a demo reel for Zumba Fitness. The trio then signed on with a firm which marketed the first ever, Zumba Fitness Home Video.
Welcome to Kennebuck, Maine, U.S.A. 2012
Meet, Alexis Wright, 29 year old, single Mom, and Zumba Firness Instructor of Kennebuck Maine. Alexis is currently a little down on her luck. Recently, Miss Wright was indicted on one hundred and nine counts of criminal activities, to include tax evasion, violation of privacy rights of individuals and operating a brothel out of her rented Zumba Fitness Studio and Office.
Alexis is alleged to be the one and only employee of this brothel, whose clients number in excess of one hundred and fifty men. She has plead, "Not Guilty" to one hundred and six, of the one hundred and nine counts.
Also indicted as co-defendant, in this high profile case, is Miss Wright's friend, insurance agent, professional photographer, Private Investigator and alleged partner in crime, 52 year old, Mark Strong, also of Maine. Mr. Strong was arraigned on October 9th, 2012, of Fifty-nine misdemeanor counts, to include promoting the illegal activities of a brothel and violation of privacy rights, for video taping brothel clients, without their knowledge. Mark Strong has plead "Not Guilty," to all counts, stating he has done nothing illegal whatsoever, at any time.
It is further alleged, these co-defendants collaborated to promote, operate and open this brothel for business, from the Zumba Studio, in 2010. They conducted this business, kept meticulous records of each and every client, as well as videotapes of their activities with Miss Wright, within this brothel, without the knowledge of these clients. Authorities discovered 100 hours of videos, captured on a computer, seized by them, from Miss.Strong's office.
It has been estimated that the brothel generated $150,000 from October, 2010 to February, 2012, when authorities raided the establishment and arrested Miss Wright. Throughout this 18 month period, Alexis Wright continued to collect Social Services assistance in food stamps and other services from the State of Maine Support System, to the tune of $15,000.
Residents of Kennebuck "beside themselves," with Disgust and Anger.
Needless to report, when this story was busted wide open and flooded the media outlets in every direction, members of the quiet and lovely Kennebuck community, were at best shocked and at worse, mortified and disgusted.
Little did they know initially, that the very worst was yet to come. Numerous reliable sources announced the existence of the meticulous records kept by Miss Wright, filled with information in minute detail of every client, for every visit in 18 months. There exists. a client list that has been cleared by more than one Judge, for publication. Every name and address of every client is to be published....yes, meaning printed in all things readable to anyone who cares to read it.
The Outrage over the Dreaded LIST
News reporters and photographers took to the streets of Kennebunk, to give the residents an opportunity to speak their mind and purge their frustrations or pour their heart out about the gaping wound inflicted upon their beloved town. The reporters asked the questions, especially one they knew the nation wanted answered. What do you think about the soon-to-be- released list of Miss Wright's clients?
The responses were mixed. The majority of those approached were in favor of the list being made public. "Every other criminal has their name listed in the papers, why should these criminals be any different? They don't deserve any special protection." The public has a right to know who these shameful men are!" Then there were those who thought a little mercy was in order. "I don't see why that's necessary. This will be very bad for these men." The vast majority of those responders, were men.
Interestingly enough, in the midst of this storm, one man exposed his name voluntarily. Don Hill, the head coach for the local High School Hockey team, felt compelled to resign his position of 14 years. Through his attorney, he stated his resignation was due to unproven charges and false accusations that he engaged in unlawful purchase of the services of a brothel employee. The air was also thick with murmurs of a former Maine Mayor, who may have been a client, as well.
While the public awaits the eventual unveiling of Kennebunk brothel clients, the news stories will continue to flood the newspapers, T.V. radio and the internet. Where ever you choose to search, you will find an update of this latest, hottest scandal, that haunts the residents of Kennebunk, Maine. However, not nearly as mercilessly as it is haunting the clients.
What do you think?
© 2012 Paula