January 29, 2013

Judge to decide how to proceed in Kennebunk prostitution case

The state's highest court authorizes Justice Nancy Mills to take the next step in the high-profile trial.

By Scott Dolan sdolan@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

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Mark Strong Sr. faces 12 counts of promotion of prostitution and one count of conspiracy to promote prostitution.


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Defense attorney Dan Lilley, left, and his client, Mark Strong Sr., speak to the media outside Cumberland County Court following a hearing on Jan. 18, 2013.

John Ewing / Staff Photographer

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Supreme Judicial Court order: State of Maine v. Mark W. Strong, Sr.

The court never got that far. McGettigan’s appeal put jury selection in limbo, leaving the judge to release the jurors for the day Friday with instructions to call the hotline.

Since the jury selection has so far been conducted behind closed doors, the makeup of the jurors seated so far is a secret, including details on their ages, race or gender. Also not disclosed is how the lawyers for each side chose each juror, which ones they chose to excuse or how they have used their strikes to eliminate specific potential jurors.

By law, defense attorneys and prosecutors in the case each have four peremptory challenges, which allows them to strike a potential juror without giving a reason. Each side gets an additional peremptory challenge for every alternate juror beyond the 12 regular jury members
who are seated, up to the maximum number of four alternates.

Mills imposed a gag order at the start of jury selection, barring attorneys from talking about the selection. Lilley has flouted the order at times, but on Monday declined to comment on the case. He had said on Sunday that the jury selection process had been nearly complete when the case was suspended Friday, with only three jurors left to be seated.

Attorney Sigmund Schutz, who represented the Portland Press Herald in its effort to open the jury selection process, said he has filed for written transcripts of the closed-door sessions. The court has yet to create them.

Mills has described the media attention in the Kennebunk prostitution case as “unprecedented.” She said this is the first time in her 19 years as a judge that she has been unable to seat a jury for a trial in a single day.

Staff Writer Scott Dolan can be contacted at: 791-6304 or at: sdolan@mainetoday.com

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