PORTLAND — A Portland-based judge has been specially assigned to the case of the Thomaston man who is charged in an alleged prostitution operation in Kennebunk.

Superior Court Chief Justice Thomas Humphrey has assigned Justice Joyce Wheeler to the case of Mark Strong Sr., 57, an insurance agent and private investigator who is charged with promotion of prostitution, a misdemeanor.

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There was concern that if a judge who usually sits in York County knew any of the witnesses in the case, he or she might have to be recused from the case or any related cases, said Mary Ann Lynch, a spokeswoman for the state judicial branch. That could wreak havoc with the docket, she said.

Strong was arrested in July, five months after police searched two business locations and the home of Alexis Wright, a fitness teacher who offered Zumba classes in Kennebunk.

According to a police affidavit, the searches turned up video footage of Wright engaged in sexual acts, a price list for various acts and “meticulous” client records.

The existence of a client list has prompted speculation about who is on it.

Strong has a hearing scheduled for Friday in Alfred.

Staff Writer Ann S. Kim can be contacted at 791-6383 or at:

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