October 10, 2012

Suspected child porn evidence complicates prostitution case

As the two defendants plead not guilty and attorneys quarrel over discovery, prosecutors say a hard drive may contain illegal images.

By Ann S. Kim akim@mainetoday.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

Alexis Wright, left, listens to her lawyer Sarah Churchill during Wright's arraignment Tuesday at the Cumberland County Courthouse in Portland. Wright and her business associate, Mark Strong Sr. of Thomaston pleaded not guilty to dozens of counts arising from an alleged prostitution operation in Kennebunk.

Tim Greenway/Staff Photographer

click image to enlarge

Mark Strong Sr. listens to the judge during his arraignment Tuesday at the Cumberland County Courthouse in Portland.

Tim Greenway/Staff Photographer

Additional Photos Below

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Lilley has filed two motions – the first has already been denied – to dismiss the case, arguing that he hasn’t received materials from prosecutors.

After hearing from both sides Tuesday, Superior Court Justice Nancy Mills said the case will be expedited.

“At some point, the defendants’ rights are going to come into play. I think they’re coming into play,” she said.

Mills said prosecutors must provide evidence in a timely and organized manner. She criticized some of the ways prosecutors have handled the process.

Lilley complained that he received a small, unorganized box of “pretty  skimpy discovery” and a hard drive that he was unable to access with computers at his office. He estimated that he has a quarter of the information that prosecutors have.

McGettigan said prosecutors have been “more than diligent” while dealing with large amounts of complex information. She said materials, including eight terabytes of data on the hard drive, were delivered to Lilley’s office on three occasions.

The prosecutor said that in complicated cases, discovery is an ongoing process. Among the outstanding items are more than 80 interviews with alleged prostitution clients, she said.

Mills decided Tuesday not to sign either of the prosecution’s proposed orders to keep materials in the case confidential.

“I don’t see any good cause in this case to impose a confidentiality order at this time,” Mills said, adding that it’s her preferred practice to keep criminal cases public.

One of the prosecution’s proposals cited Lilley’s comments in a Portland Press Herald article as justification for an order to prevent parties from discussing elements of the case, including evidence, strategy and progress.

The Press Herald and the York County Coast Star argued that the state hadn’t met the standard to justify such confidentiality.

Staff Writer Ann S. Kim can be contacted at 791-6383 or at:
akim@pressherald.com
Twitter: AnnKimPPH

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Additional Photos

click image to enlarge

Superior Court Justice Nancy Mills presides Tuesday over the arraignments of Alexis Wright and Mark Strong Sr. at the Cumberland County Courthouse in Portland. “At some point, the defendants’ rights are going to come into play,” Mills said, adding that the case will be expedited.

Tim Greenway/Staff Photographer

click image to enlarge

Daniel Lilley, attorney for Mark Strong Sr., holds a hard drive that he received as part of the discovery process in Tuesday’s proceedings. He estimated that he has only a quarter of the data in the alleged prostitution case that prosecutors have.

Tim Greenway/Staff Photographer

click image to enlarge

Alexis Wright follows her lawyer, Sarah Churchill, out of the courtroom, as Mark Strong Sr. talks with his lawyer after their arraignments at the Cumberland County Courthouse in Portland on Tuesday.

Tim Greenway / Staff Photographer



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