January 31, 2013

Stalled Zumba trial still awaiting action by high court

Potential jurors were told via a hotline Monday morning not to report to York County Superior Court in Alfred for jury selection.

By Scott Dolan sdolan@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

Mark Strong Sr. leaves Cumberland County Courthouse following a hearing on a motion by his defense attorney, Dan Lilley, on Jan. 18, 2013.

John Ewing / Staff Photographer

Nadeau and Lilley filed a 12-page legal argument Sunday afternoon with the state Supreme Court, challenging the merits of the prosecution’s appeal of Mills’ dismissal ruling.

“The state’s position on this appeal is contrary to reason, common sense and the interests of society. These patrons should not be awarded the protection of the law to shield their unlawful activities,” Lilley and Nadeau said in their written argument.

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.

Wright, 30, of Wells, is scheduled to stand trial on 106 counts against her in May. She has pleaded not guilty to all counts, including promotion of prostitution, engaging in prostitution, violation of privacy, conspiracy, tax offenses and receiving welfare benefits when ineligible.

She faces 46 counts of violation of privacy, the same number as Strong did before Mills dismissed them.

Wright’s attorney, Sarah Churchill, said Friday that she likely would have asked the judge to dismiss those charges against her client as well.

The case has drawn so much attention in part because Wright is suspected of keeping a meticulous list of more than 150 names of customers, including prominent figures. Sixty-six have been charged and 18 have pleaded guilty to engaging a prostitute.

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

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