TODAY   |  January 09, 2013

New allegations for Zumba prostitution suspect

According to a new article in Vanity Fair magazine, Alexis Wright, the Kennebunk, Maine zumba dance instructor facing prostitution charges allegedly used cameras, laptops, and external hard drives to record encounters. NBC’s Katy Tur reports.

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>>> new details this morning any sex scandal that rocked a small town in maine. a zumba dance instructor accused of prostitution and secretly taping sexual encounters with her clients. a lot of information coming to light in an article in the new edition of " vanity fair ." katy tur is here with more.

>> thank you, matt. ledgers outlining each sex act , the price, as well as videotapes and computer records. such detailed recordkeeping have some wondering whether an extortion plot was in the works. why would alexis wright need camcorders, skype logs, hours of video, stacks of hard drives and countless lists about her clients that prosecutors say detail who, what, when and how much? the question of why is still hanging over the town of kenneybunk. in " vanity fair ," an article of what she says everyone has been talking about, an extortion.

>> why on earth would they be doing this unless there was some grand attempt at extortion down the road? no one knows.

>> reporter: but the town is certainly speculating.

>> all my gut instincts say this is some type of extortion situation that's been set up. i don't have all of the facts before me.

>> reporter: so far about a third of the nearly 200 alleged so-called johns in the case have been identified. gary prolman represents ten of them.

>> their whole lives have been turned upside down. i don't think that's very fair.

>> reporter: investigators say wright was running a one-woman brothel out of her zumba studio with her married lover. both are accused of prostitution, violation of privacy and conspiracy. both have pleaded not guilty to the charges. in a statement to nbc news, wright's lawyer says there is unequivocally no evidence of extortion. his lawyer agrees.

>> the idea that there may be extortion involved, there's no evidence to support that. it's accurate it may be speculation, but there's no evidence to support it.

>> reporter: as for kennebunk, the scandal has shaken the town's upstanding new england reputation.

>> you have this perception, right, that sex doesn't happen here. in reality, as the story shows, sex scandals happen everywhere, even in the most unlikely of places.

>> the trial begins at the end of the month. a trial for alexis wright hasn't been set yet. lawyers for the three alleged johns have complained they've barely seen any of the recordings or ledgers seized by police. so far none of the names on ta list have been big bombshells. of the 66 named, there is a woman, the wife of a man named earlier. matt?

>> katy tur, thank you very much.