Kennebunk Is Spared a Very Public, Very Sensational Trial

Alexis Wright—arguably the most infamous Zumba teacher in the country—pleaded guilty on Friday.


(Photo by Amy Root-Donle)

On Friday, Alexis Wright—arguably the most infamous Zumba teacher in the country—pleaded guilty to 20 misdemeanors for the prostitution ring she ran in the coastal town of Kennebunk, Maine. She will serve 10 months in jail and pay $58,000 in restitution, though the deal does not prevent her from selling her story for a book or a movie. Wright’s case received major play nationally and internationally due to its circumstances: She filmed explicit videos of her having sex with the alleged johns and kept detailed records of the business, including interactions with more than 140 men in the small town.

As Alyssa Giacobbe noted in “Sex, Lists, and Videotape” in the December issue of Boston, many of those alleged johns were prominent members of the community:

The list includes some of the area’s more powerful and influential men: the head of a realty company, a restaurateur, a top executive at a Boston-based investment company, a Portland lawyer and former Portland Planning Board chairman, and a few local heroes, like the revered 52-year-old Kennebunk High School hockey coach, who resigned from his position in the days following the release of his name. The men range in age from 29 to 68, and half of them work in construction or home-building, including one man who owns a Turner, Maine, construction firm that bills itself as a “Christian, family-owned company.”

Wright, for her part, seemed to revel in that very fact:

On one site, a photo of a woman believed to be Wright appears alongside a personal profile that reads, “I live in a small town in Maine and have my own dance studio, many in my community do not realize that I am an exhibitionist and that I crave sex. I have had sex with many of the married men locally and it is satisfying to know that I am providing them with what they are not getting at home. If the women only knew.”

There’s little doubt that Kennebunk is spared the long, sensational trial that would have made the town the center of a media scrum for weeks, if not months, as name after name was revealed to the public. After Wright’s arrest last fall, the story quickly made national and international headlines—so much that Giacobbe noted in her story that readers in the U.K. could browse a “List of Shame” of Wright’s alleged clients in the Daily Mail.

Wright’s plea deal, however, doesn’t necessarily mean that the rest of the men will be able to escape attention. As of now, a little less than half of the names of alleged johns—66—have been revealed. As York County Deputy District Attorney Justina McGettigan told the Portland Press Herald:

“This continues to be under investigation,” McGettigan said. “Two prominent people have been found guilty or accepted responsibility. There have been a number of the 66 charged who have been convicted or accepted responsibility. It remains to be seen, of the others, how many will be charged.”