March 6, 2013

Zumba jurors send questions to judge as deliberations begin

By Edward D. Murphy
Staff Writer

ALFRED — Jurors deliberating in the prostitution promotion trial of Mark Strong Sr. have sent two questions to the judge Wednesday morning.

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Mark Strong Sr. listens as his attorney, Daniel Lilley, asks Justice Nancy Mills to dismiss charges against him in York County Superior Court in Alfred on Tuesday.

Gregory Rec / Staff Photographer

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The jurors who are weighing 13 charges against Strong began deliberations in the case at about 8:50 a.m.

Shortly after they started, the jurors sent a question to York County Superior Court Judge Nancy Mills asking if they could take notes during their deliberations.

Mills told them they could, but that any notes would be collected and destroyed after a verdict is reached.

Then, around 10 a.m., the jurors asked for clarification on some of the charges against Strong, who is accused of helping former fitness instructor Alexis Wright operate a one-woman prostitution business from her Zumba studio and her office in Kennebunk.

One of the charges against Strong alleges that he promoted prostitution for the entire period the operation was allegedly conducted by Wright.

The other charges against Strong cover specific months that the prostitution activity was allegedly taking place.

The jurors asked Mills why one charge covered the entire period, while the other charges covered specific months.

After conferring with lawyers, Mills sent a note back to jurors saying she could not clarify why the time periods in the charges overlapped but that jurors had to consider the charges against Strong as they had been presented.

Strong's lawyers have argued that prosecutors filed an excessive number of charges against their client and appeared happy after hearing the jurors' second question.


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