Defense attorney to file for dismissal in promotion of prostitution case
Alfred — The attorney representing Mark Strong Sr. is filing a motion for dismissal on his client's behalf in York County Superior Court in Alfred.
"We are asking for dismissal," said attorney Daniel G. Lilley of Portland.
He said that under the rules of discovery, the state has to provide discovery information within 10 days after arraignment, which was in July.
"We're way past that date," he said.
Strong, who owns Strong Insurance Agency in Thomaston, was arrested July 10 and charged with promotion of prostitution at two studios in Kennebunk. The arrest followed a five-month investigation that was started by members of the Kennebunk Police Department and resulted in their executing three search warrants in February.
The warrants were issued for the Zumba Studio of Alexis Wright at 8 York St., Kennebunk, and of the home of Strong on Knox Street in Thomaston and his business, the Strong Agency, an automobile, home and commercial insurance business at 446 Main St. in Thomaston.
A police affidavit states that searches of Wright's Zumba studios and her home in Wells turned up client records and hours of video recordings of sex acts she performed.
So far, Strong is the only person charged in the case, but police say the investigation is ongoing and further charges are expected to be filed.
Lilley said he had the case transferred from Maine District Court in Biddeford to Superior Court in Alfred so that his client could have a jury trial. A court date has been set for Oct. 4.
"He has no intention of pleading guilty," Lilley said of Strong.
The defense attorney said he intends to call witnesses to testify.
Two sets of records have been sealed in the case, said Lt. Anthony Bean Burpee in a phone interview Aug. 23.
The records of Strong have been re-sealed from the public for an additional 90 days. The only record available to the public is the police affidavit obtained from the Maine District Court in Biddeford.
That does not mean prosecutors and defense attorneys, or the defendant himself, cannot have access to the records, the police officer explained. Those files are sealed for 90 days, and, if necessary, can be sealed for another 90 days.
The records of Wright opened in February were sealed and have been sealed again for another 90 days, he said.
Any prosecution can still go forward, Lt. Burpee said. "It's just that the public can't see them."
The police affidavit said Wright got a permit for a studio on York Street in March 2010, and police began getting calls in September of suspicious activity there.
Meanwhile, Wright had rented a studio at 1 High St., the former York County Coast Star building, and soon the landlord complained of what he thought was illegal activity in that building coming from Wright's quarters.
The reports said that activities went on at all hours, with men coming in business attire, and "moaning and groaning" going on, according to the affidavit.
Meanwhile, Lilley said his client, a licensed private investigator, was working with Wright because she believed the police were harassing her. Strong later lent her money for what he said he believed was a legitimate activity, Lilley said.
"At one point, she aspired to becoming an investigator," Lilley said.
Courier Publications reporter George Chappell can be reached at 207-594-4401, ext. 117, or at email@example.com.