Ex-coach goes on trial in Zumba prostitution caseAP , Associated Press
Aug. 19, 2013 6:23 PM ET
ALFRED, Maine (AP) — A Zumba instructor and her business partner convicted of running a prostitution business out of a dance studio didn't have much to offer in testimony Monday at the first trial for one of the operation's alleged clients.
Convicted prostitute Alexis Wright identified former Kennebunk High School hockey coach Donald Hill in the courtroom but wasn't required to answer further questions about him. Mark Strong, who helped Wright set up her Kennebunk dance studio, said he couldn't recall details including names from a spreadsheet found on his computer.
Defense lawyer Gary Prolman told jurors the 53-year-old Hill has said he thought he was in a relationship with Wright and he never paid her for sex.
"This is sex between two consenting adults and that is not against the law," he said.
Hill is one of 68 people charged with paying for sex with Wright, who's serving a 10-month sentence. At least 58 have pleaded guilty or no contest.
Wright, 30, of Wells, pleaded guilty to charges of promoting prostitution and engaging in prostitution, as well as several welfare- and tax-related charges. Strong, 57, of Thomaston, was convicted of promoting prostitution and sentenced to 20 days in jail.
The judge ruled that Wright could exercise her Fifth Amendment right to remain silent when questioned by prosecutors, but he ordered Strong to testify.
Strong testified that he helped Wright set up a spreadsheet described by prosecutors as Wright's ledger but said he wasn't familiar with its contents retrieved from his computer, the York County Coast Star reported.
He also denied taking Skype screen shots that showed Hill and Wright having sex, something prosecutors previously characterized as a routine part of their business.
Hill faces a single count of engaging a prostitute, a misdemeanor. He faces a fine of up to $1,000 if convicted.