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Entries in Prostitution (22)

Saturday
Jan192013

Zumba Sex Scandal: Accused Business Partner Claims Affair with Alexis Wright, Denies Prostitution Ring Involvement

ABC News(PORTLAND, Maine) -- The man accused of bankrolling the Maine Zumba studio, which instructor Alexis Wright allegedly used as a front for a brothel, denied having any involvement or knowledge of the alleged prostitution ring, but said he and Wright had an affair and he loaned her money.

In an interview with Nightline, Mark Strong Sr., flanked by his lawyer, Dan Lilley, spoke for the first time about the accusations that he was the 30-year-old Zumba instructor's business partner in a prostitution scandal that has rocked the small New England town of Kennebunk, Maine.

"I'm sorry for any dishonesty [and] for the intimate relationship that I had with Alexis Wright," Strong said.

Strong, a married 57-year-old former private investigator who owns an insurance agency, said he and Wright had a casual relationship at the time of his arrest and he had only been to Kennebunk "a few times."

He denied he ever paid Wright for sex.

"We did have intimate moments but it's not what I would consider romantic," he said. "It was just physical."

Prior to that, Strong said had known Wright for about three or four years and she once worked for him as a private investigator assistant. He admitted he gave her a personal loan for her Zumba business and co-signed the lease for her Pura Vida Zumba studio.

"It started out as a business relationship," Strong said. "We had a friendship. We talked often. I may see her once a month."

Wright has been charged with operating a brothel, as well as 106 counts of prostitution, violation of privacy, tax evasion and other charges. Strong faces 59 misdemeanor charges, including promotion of prostitution and violation of privacy for allegedly video-recording the encounters between the alleged prostitutes and some prominent local men.

Prosecutors said they have 100 hours of video evidence and photos, some of which were seized from Strong's computer. Strong denied having any knowledge of that or having the materials in the first place.

Both Strong and Wright have pleaded not guilty to all the charges against them, and they stand to go to trial next week. Strong and his attorney said they also believe Wright is "innocent until proven guilty."

Lilley asked for the trial to be postponed. He requested a change of venue and for himself to be removed from the case because Strong cannot afford his representation. But Justice Nancy Mills denied all motions and the trial is scheduled to begin on Jan. 22.

The scandal unraveled this past summer when Kennebunk Police raided Wright's dance studio and a nearby office, where they confiscated detailed records and hours of video. Since then, the police have released a bi-weekly blotter on their website that documents arrests, complete with names, ages and home addresses.

More than 150 men -- and at least one woman -- are being investigated for whether they paid for sex at Wright's Pura Vida Zumba dance studio, and 66 men face misdemeanor soliciting charges.

In October, police released the names of 21 men accused of paying for sex with Wright. Among them were James Soule, a former mayor of South Portland, Maine, and Don Hill, who stepped down as hockey coach for Kennebunk High School after his name appeared on a client list. Both Soule and Hill have plead not guilty.

In an interview with Nightline on Friday, two attorneys representing the 21 men charged with misdemeanor soliciting staunchly defended their clients.

"Their lives have been turned upside down since their names were mentioned in a police blotter, which is evidence of nothing, but the mere allegation here has been enough to smear people's reputations," said criminal defense attorney Stephen Schwartz.

Gary Prolman, the lawyer for Don Hill, said his client believed he was in a relationship with Wright, not only seeing her at her studio but also at her home.

"His intension was to go for a massage in Kennebunk," Prolman said. "He and Ms. Wright, from his perspective, had a relationship."

When Nightline approached Wright at her home in October to ask about the allegations, she refused to speak on the matter.

"I have no comment," she said, before threatening to call the police and shutting the door.

Nightline also spoke to Wright's attorney, Sarah Churchill, in October, who said the ordeal had been tough on her client. She is adamant that Wright is innocent.

"There's been a lot of scrutiny on her," Churchill said. "Getting through the day in any sort of normal way has been sort of difficult."

Authorities said the Pura Vida Zumba dance studio is just a few miles down the road from the Bush family's exclusive summer compound where the whole clan still vacations. President George H.W. Bush still has a summer place there and it is where his son, President George W. Bush, spent his boyhood summers.

According to court documents, the landlord for Wright's studio called police after hearing unusual sounds coming from her office and seeing strange men come and go at all hours of the night.

Kennebunk-area resident Allison Ackley said she attended Wright's Zumba classes and didn't suspect what was going on.

"I thought she was a little, I don't know, not risque, but a little flirtatious at times with a couple of the male participants of the class," Ackley said of Wright. "But, I mean, it's Zumba. You're just in there to have fun."

Lilley and Strong again reiterated that Strong had done nothing wrong. Lilley compared his client's situation to a bank giving someone a personal loan and then that person using it to buy drugs.

"The bank is not responsible," he said. "We feel there is a good analogy there."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct182012

EXCLUSIVE: Inspector General’s Report Contradicts Secret Service on Prostitution Scandal

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- An investigation into the U.S. Secret Service prostitution scandal by the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general contradicts Secret Service director Mark Sullivan’s adamant assertion before Congress that “this just is not part of our culture,” ABC News has learned.

“Thus far, we have not found that this type of behavior was exhibited by any of these individuals before,” Sullivan testified before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in May, referring to the 12 agents who were accused of drinking and cavorting with prostitutes in Cartagena, Colombia, ahead of President Obama’s visit for the Summit of the Americas.

The report, however, revealed that one of the agents who was in Cartagena during the scandal and picked up a prostitute “admitted to soliciting a prostitute on two previous occasions, once in El Salvador in 2008/2009 and one time in Panama in 2009.”

The report also mentioned allegations of similar misconduct by agents on trips to Romania and China. Details from the report, labeled “law enforcement sensitive,” were shared with ABC News by sources who had reviewed it.

The investigation found that while Secret Service personnel were still on the ground in Cartagena, one of the supervisors that had engaged in misconduct was alerted that his actions had become known. He, in turn, warned other Secret Service staffers in Colombia that they should not bring prostitutes back to their hotel rooms.

A senior Secret Service official with knowledge of the investigation said Sullivan had been briefed prior to his testimony, and that “while some agents had been truthful regarding their conduct with prostitutes in Cartagena, none had confessed to prior contact with prostitutes. One agent, who later admitted to the OIG that he had indeed engaged in prior misconduct with prostitutes in El Salvador and Panama, had previously denied in an interview with USSS Office of Professional Responsibility that he had not had prior contact with prostitutes.”

Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, the ranking Republican on a key Senate oversight subcommittee, was thoroughly briefed on the report by the subcommittee staff, which spent two days reviewing it.  Johnson noted that it is government policy for Secret Service agents to report certain contacts with foreign nationals.

“In the three and a half years prior to the Cartagena incidents, there were only 105 of those foreign national contacts reported,” Johnson said. “Once Cartagena occurred and the policy was redistributed, you know that agents were reminded of that, 423 additional contacts were all of a sudden reported. And again, this gives me concern that rotationally this type of behavior is more widespread.”

Sullivan is also facing questions about whether he misled lawmakers about the security risks surrounding the scandal.

In May, he testified that the prostitutes’ names -- when run through U.S. national security and law enforcement databases -- did not raise any red flags, with law enforcement concluding that there was “no connection either from … an intelligence perspective or a criminal perspective.”

But the inspector general asserted that Secret Service officials knew when Sullivan testified that information about two of the prostitutes had caused what’s commonly referred to as “intel hits.” One of those hits has since been dismissed and the other is still being investigated, sources told ABC News.

The senior Secret Service official asserted that before his testimony, “Sullivan was briefed as to the current status of the investigation and the facts known at that time. He was briefed that checks of the women’s names against national security and law enforcement databases, both in the U.S. and Colombia, had yielded no derogatory information.”

The official acknowledged that the Secret Service was told that there had been “potentially… a partial match to the name of one of the women, but at the time, Director Sullivan was briefed that it was not a match. Indeed, the Secret Service, working with other government agencies, was never able to confirm a connection.”

The DHS inspector general has faced challenges in his investigation, with 10 senior and current Secret Service officials refusing to grant him or his investigators an interview.

“We are concerned that the inspector general was interfered [with] in terms of his investigation, that was constrained and hampered,” Johnson told ABC News.

The inspector general also said the Justice Department denied its request to pursue the legal authority to conduct interviews with the prostitutes, hotel staff, or nightclub employees in Colombia and to access hotel records. Justice Department officials asserted they provided the inspector general with the documents that they were seeking.

“These are very serious charges -- the fact that the Secret Service has been implicated in this kind of behavior that puts the president’s life at risk, our national security at risk and we cannot get the answers,” Johnson said.

Ten days after the scandal broke, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters, “There have been no specific, credible allegations of misconduct by anyone on the White House advance team or the White House staff.”

The inspector general’s report also noted that the White House counsel conducted her own investigation when two staffers -- one a soldier who was part of the White House Communications Agency, the other a White House Advance Team volunteer -- were also cited in follow-up investigations, after Carney’s comments.

The soldier ultimately confessed, but the advance team volunteer denied any wrongdoing.  The White House argues that the only information tying the volunteer to the scandal was a hotel log in which a prostitute listed the volunteer’s room number as her destination.  White House officials noted that a Secret Service agent was similarly implicated -- falsely -- in the scandal, and that they are convinced of the volunteer’s innocence. They have no further information about whom the prostitute was visiting.

Last week, Johnson wrote letters to Director Sullivan, White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Attorney General Eric Holder asking for a detailed description of the findings from their investigations into the scandal.

“Director Mark Sullivan and the Secret Service have conducted a fair and thorough investigation resulting from the Cartagena incident,” Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan told ABC News in a written statement. “The agency response to those with oversight responsibility has been timely and truthful with over a dozen briefings to Congress, hundreds of employee interviews, and tens of thousands of documents turned over to oversight entities. We have remained in close touch with those partners to answer any questions and will continue to respond to the DHS-OIG and Congressional inquiries in that manner. Since 1865, the Secret Service has done its job with excellence and integrity, and the true culture of our employees is demonstrated everyday as we execute both our investigative and protective missions.”

“The fact that we’ve hit a brick wall just makes me highly suspicious that there is something being covered up here and the American public has a right to know,” Johnson said.

A senior White House official said Thursday evening that the White House continues to have confidence in Sullivan.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Oct172012

Zumba Sex Scandal: Former Maine Mayor Named as Alleged Client

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(KENNEBUNK, Maine) -- A former mayor of South Portland, Maine, is among the 21 men accused of paying for sex at a Maine Zumba studio run by instructor Alexis Wright, who has been charged with operating a prostitution ring out of her dance studio.

James Soule, 58, served as mayor of the town near the Kennebunk studio in 2008.  Soule, who is facing a misdemeanor soliciting charge, has not responded to requests for comment.

In a scathing statement overnight, Mark Strong, the man accused of booking clients at the Pura Vida Studio owned by Wright, 29, lashed out at investigators, accusing the Kennebunk police department of retaliation and unprofessional conduct.  Strong has pleaded not guilty to 59 misdemeanor charges.

"I never had sex with [Wright] for money," Strong wrote in a statement.  "The charges against me are untrue.  I will be vindicated in a jury trial."

Strong, 57, says he met Wright online and soon developed a personal relationship in which he helped her start a "legitimate business."

Police say Strong helped run Wright's alleged side prostitution business and helped video-tape her clients.  Prosecutors say they have 100 hours of video evidence.

Strong, an insurance agent, says he's also a private investigator, and that he began investigating Kennebunk police because the department was harassing Wright.

"The Kennebunk police department seized my computer, which contains multiple interviews of witnesses in that investigation," Strong wrote in his statement.

Police have not responded to inquiries about Strong's allegations.

Daniel G. Lilley, the attorney representing Strong, defended his client.

"From what he says, he's a good guy caught up in a bad situation," Lilley said.  "I think if you look at the theory that he was delving into their privacy, if that's true and its retaliation, then the answer's yes.  If not, then I don't know why they singled him out."

As the scandal unravels, there has been more fallout in the Maine vacation town after the release of a list of some of Wright's more than 100 alleged clients, which reportedly includes a lawyer, a forester and a real estate appraiser.

So far, 21 men have been charged with engaging in prostitution and have been summoned to appear in court.  They are among the more than 150 men -- and reportedly one woman -- who are being investigated.

A Maine judge on Tuesday cleared the way for police to release the ages and addresses of the first 21 names on the list.  Their ages range from 34 to 65, and most live in Maine, one in New Hampshire and one in Boston.

The 21 men have been summoned to appear in court on Dec. 5.  The full list can be seen here.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Oct162012

Police Release 21 Names in Maine Zumba Sex Scandal

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(KENNEBUNK, Maine) -- Police have released the names of 21 men accused of paying for sex with a Maine Zumba instructor who has been charged with running a prostitution ring out of her dance studio.

The 21 men are charged with engaging in prostitution and have been summoned to appear in court in December.  They are among the more than 150 men -- and reportedly one woman -- who are being investigated.  Police say they were clients of fitness instructor Alexis Wright, 29, who has been charged with 106 counts related to her alleged prostitution ring in Kennebunk.

It's unclear when the other names will be released.

ABC News has not confirmed the full list of names that does not include ages and addresses for the alleged clients.  But two of the men on the list confirmed that they have been charged.

One of the men told ABC News that he made a mistake and is prepared to pay the consequences.  Another alleged client of Wright's said, "We will be exonerated."

Superior Court Justice Thomas Warren denied a motion on Monday to block the list of names filed by an attorney for two of the alleged clients, who argued it would be a "harm to their personal reputations as private citizens, their professional reputations, and their professional relationships."

Wright refused to answer questions outside of court on Oct. 9 after pleading not guilty to 106 counts, including prostitution and invasion of privacy.

"I think it's fair to say that she wished the names didn't come out," Wright's attorney Sarah Churchill said.  "It's been tough.  There's been a lot of scrutiny on her.  Getting through the day in any sort of normal way has been sort of difficult."

Wright's alleged accomplice, 57-year-old insurance agent and private investigator Mark Strong, has pleaded not guilty to 59 misdemeanor charges.  Police say Strong was in charge of booking Wright's alleged clients at her Pura Vida Studio.

Prosecutors say Wright recorded some of her alleged encounters with the men, and say they have 100 hours of video evidence.

Strong's lawyer, Dan Lilley, welcomes the release of the names.

"I think the courts in Maine have been quite transparent in these kinds of cases, and it's usually disclosed to the public," he said.  "I don't think it should be held back in this case."

There is speculation that the list contains the names of well-known locals, including prominent politicians, lawyers and law enforcement officers who allegedly frequented the brothel.

The 21 men have been summoned to appear in court on Dec. 5.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct122012

Zumba Sex Scandal: Judge Will Not Block Release of Client List

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(PORTLAND, Maine) -- A state judge in Kennebunk, Maine, decided Friday not to block the release of over 100 alleged clients of Alexis Wright, the 29-year-old Zumba instructor who is accused of running a prostitution ring out of her dance studio.

Police were prepared to reveal the first batch of identities of Wright's alleged clients, which normally would be made public in police activity reports released every other week. But on Thursday, defense attorneys representing some of the alleged clients asked a judge to block their release.

District Judge Andre Janelle quickly rejected their motion for a restraining order and a preliminary injunction, which he filed early Friday.

Stephen Schwartz, an attorney for the alleged clients, filed an appeal on Judge Janelle's decision, and that will be sent to the state Supreme Court.

There is speculation that the list contains the names of well-known locals, including prominent politicians, lawyers and law enforcement officers who allegedly frequented the brothel investigators say was run out of Wright's Pura Vida Studio. Wright allegedly had a video camera set up in the room to film the acts as well.

Based on information found during a search of the studio, police began issuing summonses to the alleged johns on misdemeanor charges of engaging a prostitute. As many as 45 men on the list have already been summoned.

Stephen Schwartz, an attorney for the alleged clients, said Thursday that releasing their names would harm the character of a number of the accused, which reportedly might include prominent politicians, attorneys and others.

"Releasing the list has the power to really destroy reputations," Schwartz said.

Wright, 29, refused to answer questions outside of court Tuesday after pleading not guilty to 106 counts including prostitution and invasion of privacy.

Police say that Mark Strong, 57, was in charge of booking Wright's alleged clients. Strong has pleaded not guilty to 59 misdemeanor charges.

Strong's lawyer, Daniel Lilley, admits that there is a list, but says his client had nothing to do with it.

"I'm told that there are police officers and firemen and accountants and TV personalities and lawyers," Lilley said. "It runs the gamut of Americana, I guess."

Bee Nguyen, the landlord for Wright's studio, called police after hearing unusual sounds coming from her office and seeing strange men come and go, according to court documents.

"I thought she was a little, not risqué, but a little flirtatious at times with a couple of the male participants in the class," Kennebunk resident Allison Ackley said.

Some men allegedly paid large sums of money for Wright's services.

"There's a separate list with names and certain codes that would seem to reflect sexual acts and amounts, attorney Lilly said."One case, I think the amount was $1,500."

Prosecutors say Wright recorded some of her encounters with the men, and say they have 100 hours of video evidence.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct122012

Attorneys Say Zumba Instructor's Client List Will 'Destroy Reputations'

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(KENNEBUNK, Maine) -- Defense attorneys representing some of the more than 100 alleged clients of Alexis Wright, who is accused of running a prostitution ring out of her Maine dance studio, have asked a judge to block the release of their names.

Stephen Schwartz, an attorney for the alleged clients, said on Thursday that releasing their names would harm the character of a number of the accused, which supposedly includes 100 to 150 prominent politicians, attorneys and others.

"Releasing the list has the power to really destroy reputations," Schwartz said.

Wright, 29, a Zumba dance instructor in Kennebunk, Maine, refused to answer questions outside of court Tuesday after pleading not guilty to 106 counts, including prostitution and invasion of privacy.

As many as 45 men on the list have already been summoned.  Police say that Mark Strong, 57, was in charge of booking Wright's alleged clients.

Strong's lawyer, Daniel Lilley, admits that there is a list, but says his client had nothing to do with it.

"I'm told that there are police officers and firemen and accountants and TV personalities and lawyers," Lilley said.  "It runs the gamut of Americana, I guess."

Bee Nguyen, the landlord for Wright's studio, called police after hearing unusual sounds coming from her office and seeing strange men come and go, according to court documents.

"I thought she was a little, not risqué, but a little flirtatious at times with a couple of the male participants in the class," Kennebunk resident Allison Ackley said.

Some men allegedly paid large sums of money for Wright's services.

"There's a separate list with names and certain codes that would seem to reflect sexual acts and amounts," Lilley said.  "One case, I think the amount was $1,500."

Prosecutors say Wright recorded some of her encounters with the men, and say they have 100 hours of video evidence, which many people fear could ruin lives.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Oct102012

Zumba Instructor Denies Using Her Gym for Prostitution

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(KENNEBUNK, Maine) -- A Zumba instructor in the seaside resort town of Kennebunk, Maine, is fighting charges that she used her workout studio as a brothel that attracted an alleged client list that includes area mayors, a lawyer involved in the case said.

Alexis Wright, 29, and her friend and former business partner, Mark Strong, 57, both pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges of prostitution and promoting prostitution, respectively.

According to an indictment filed last month in York County, Wright was using her Zumba gym, Pura Vida Studio, to have sex with men in exchange for money, ABC News affiliate WMTW reported. She allegedly had a video camera set up in the room to film the acts as well.

Strong was charged with promoting prostitution as well invasion of privacy for his role in setting up the camera and connecting it to the Internet to record individuals without their knowledge, according to WMTW's reports.

Wright's attorney did not immediately return calls for comment Wednesday.

Daniel Lilley, Strong's attorney, says his client denies any involvement in a prostitution business. Strong loaned Wright money to start her Zumba studio, money that she repaid him completely, Lilley said.

Police say they have more than 100 hours of video from their investigation into the alleged brothel, and have confiscated an alleged client list containing more than 100 names.

Lilley said he has not seen the video, hard drives, or images taken from his client's home and business and allegedly used in the case. He has seen the list of names of "patrons," he said, whose titles include multiple mayors, attorneys, and prominent local figures, but no national figures.

"The Bushes aren't on the list, since I've already been asked that," Lilley said, referring to the family of president George H. Bush and George W. Bush, who have a vacation home in neighboring Kennebunkport.

The list of men who allegedly came to Wright for sex could be released to the public, according to a ruling Tuesday by a judge in the case, WMTW reported.

Justice Nancy Mills refused a motion by the state to seal the client list. Lilley said he would not release the list out of concern for the wives and children of the clients, and did not know if another attorney would.

The clients are now being interviewed by police about their involvement, Lilley said.

"I think there's a lot of people talking and probably some people that are sweating bullets about that list that may or may not come out," Kennebunk resident Brian O'Donnell told ABC News.

The Attorney General's office, which is handling the prosecution, also did not return calls.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jun292012

University of Georgia Professor Busted in Prostitution Sting Keeps Job

Burke/Triolo Productions/Thinkstock(ATHENS, Ga.) -- A respected University of Georgia professor snared in a prostitution sting is allowed to keep his job, at least for now.

After Max Reinhart, a German literature professor at UGA since 1988, listed his phone number in the transsexual escort services section of Backpage.com, Gwinnett County police arranged to meet him at a motel room Reinhart had rented in Norcross. Dressed as a woman and going by the name "Sasha," Reinhart offered an undercover detective $60 for half an hour's worth of services. But as soon as the money changed hands, officers arrested Reinhart, police spokesman Cpl. Jake Smith said.

Reinhart, 65, faces up to a year in jail for misdemeanor charges of prostitution and keeping a house of prostitution, but for now, he can keep his UGA professorship.

Rather than go through the costly tenure revocation process necessary to fire Reinhart, who has held tenure since 1994, the university struck a deal. Under an agreement reached a week ago between Reinhart's attorney and attorneys for the University System of Georgia, UGA will keep Reinhart on its payroll until next May, although he will not be allowed to teach, UGA spokesman Pete Konenkamp said. In exchange, Reinhart will not sue the university for any reason.

"[Reinhart] will not re-enter the classroom, and he will not teach in any capacity," Konenkamp said. "He will be allowed to continue the research he has already been doing until he resigns in May 2013."

Konenkamp said the agreement with Reinhart will stand "no matter what" the outcome of Reinhart's trial at Gwinnett County Magistrate Court, which is not yet scheduled.

Calling the actions that led to his arrest a "temporary meltdown," Reinhart told ABC News Friday that the university has treated him "fairly and kindly," and that he has received an outpouring of support from students and faculty members.

"Under the circumstances, I hold no grudges," Reinhart said. "I'm devastated by the whole thing, as are a lot of people. I admire my university for doing what they're able to do."

Martin Kagel, the head of the department, told the Red & Black, UGA's student newspaper, that Reinhart is a "respected and valued colleague."

An author and editor of eight books, Reinhart is an expert on early modern Germany. Until UGA barred him from the classroom, he was scheduled to teach a course this fall on the influence of Islam on the German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, according to the school's Germanic and Slavic Studies department website.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Jun092012

Noted UGA German Literature Professor Faces Prostitution Charges

(GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga.) -- A renowned University of Georgia professor was snared in a prostitution sting by Gwinnett County police Thursday.

After contacting German literature professor Max Reinhart, 65, using a phone number he listed in the transsexual escort section of backpage.com, detectives arranged to meet him at a room he rented at a Norcross, Ga., GuestHouse Inn. An undercover detective entered the room, discussed the services Reinhart was to provide, and agreed to pay $60 for half an hour's worth, said Cpl. Jake Smith, a Gwinnett County Police Department spokesman.

Once the money changed hands, police officers placed Reinhart, who was going by the name "Sasha," under arrest for prostitution and keeping a house of prostitution, Smith said. Reinhart faces up to a year in jail for both charges.

After being held for nearly nine hours, Reinhart was released Thursday night on a $4,800 bond. He will be tried at Gwinnett County Magistrate Court in Lawrenceville, Ga.

UGA spokesman Tom Jackson said Reinhart, who has taught in the university's Germanic and Slavic Studies department since 1988 and held tenure since 1994, will have to report the arrest to the Athens, Ga., school, but it is not yet clear what disciplinary action, if any, will be taken against him.

"In my 24 years representing the university, this is definitely a first," Jackson said.

An expert on early modern Germany, Reinhart is the author or editor of eight books, the UGA student newspaper reported Friday. He is currently scheduled to teach a new course in the fall on the relationship between Islam and the work of the German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, according to the Germanic and Slavic Studies department website.

Reinhart could not be reached for comment Friday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jun082012

‘Millionaire Madam’s’ Son Asks Dad, ‘What’s Prostitution?’

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The 9-year-old son of accused “millionaire madam” Anna Gristina has asked, “What’s prostitution?” his father said in an exclusive  interview with ABC News’ New York City affiliate WABC on the hardships of raising the boy, who wants to know about his mother’s legal troubles.

Kelvin Gorr’s wife is still behind bars after she was arrested four months ago for allegedly running a $15 million sex empire in a small rent-stabilized apartment in Manhattan’s Upper East Side, with prostitutes charging A-list clients up to $2,500 a night. She has denied the charges.

Gristina allegedly ran the business while raising four children, including 9-year-old Nicholas, in the family’s home in Monroe, N.Y. Gristina’s three older children are from previous marriages.

“He’s asked certain questions, like, ‘What’s a madam?’ ‘What’s prostitution?’” Gorr told WABC’s Sarah Wallace of the couple’s son. “I have to make something up. I don’t want to lie to him, but I’m not going to tell what it is.”

Gristina was allegedly caught on wiretaps and surveillance videos as part of a five-year investigation by the District Attorney’s Public Corruption Unit, which probed the conduct of law enforcement and other officials and whether they had been protecting Gristina’s alleged activities.

Prosecutors say they have Gristina on tape talking about her high-priced brothel, bragging to clients she had friends in law enforcement, so she would never get caught.

Authorities arrested Gristina Feb. 22 while she was meeting with a Morgan Stanley banker to discuss ways to expand her alleged business online, according to DNAinfo, a local Manhattan news site.

Gorr, however, says his wife is not a prostitute.

“A broker for dating, how’s that?,” Gorr said when asked to describe his wife.  “I’m saying she wasn’t a madam.  I’m saying she was not involved in prostitution.”

Gorr says that his wife’s alleged clients were rich and well-known names and he wants her to reveal those names so that she can return home to their son.

Gristina’s bail was set at $2 million because of her alleged connection to law enforcement officials.  Gorr, a real estate agent, told WABC that is money the family does not have.

“She’s just supposed to sit in [jail] while they hang out on their yachts, or their place in the Hamptons,” Gore said of his wife’s alleged clients.  “They [law enforcement officials] laid out a list of names and they said, ‘Tell me what you know about these people and we will let you go and she didn’t do that.’”

“They [police] are absolutely squeezing her for names,” he said.

Gorr admitted that he has written to some of his wife’s clients asking for help, but they refused. Gristina was in court Thursday trying to get the bail lowered, but the judge has yet to make a decision.

“I don’t know how much more he can take,” Gorr said of son Nicholas. “Seeing him stress out the way he is, it makes it worse on me.  It’s pretty bad.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio