March 3, 2013

Clients to be called as witnesses in prostitution case

The lead prosecutor says she intends to call only eight more witnesses in the prostitution case.

By Scott Dolan sdolan@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

Prosecutors expect to call their final witnesses Monday in the trial of Mark Strong Sr., one of two key defendants in the Kennebunk prostitution case, dropping more than 20 witnesses from the list of those whom they had proposed to call.

The lead prosecutor in the case, York County Deputy District Attorney Justina McGettigan, sent an email over the weekend to the presiding judge in the case, Justice Nancy Mills, and Strong's defense attorneys, listing only eight more witnesses she intends to call for the state before resting the case.

The final eight witnesses are all men convicted of engaging Alexis Wright for prostitution. Prosecutors at the start of Strong's trial had intended to call 18 men convicted of engaging Wright. McGettigan's email does not explain the change in plan.

Strong, 57, of Thomaston, is accused of 13 charges: 12 counts of promotion of prostitution and one count of conspiracy with Wright to promote prostitution.

McGettigan's revised witness list also leaves off 11 police witnesses and multiple representatives of financial institutions and cellphone service providers.

To prove the charge of promotion of prostitution, prosecutors do not necessarily have to show that Strong benefited financially from his relationship with Wright. Under state law, promotion of prostitution could also be defined as aiding someone to engage in prostitution or leasing a place regularly used for prostitution.

Wright's landlord at her Zumba studio at 8 York St., Kennebunk, testified previously that Strong cosigned her lease on March 5, 2010. Prosecutors have so far shown video evidence of Wright providing sex for money only at her rented business office at 1 High St., Kennebunk, where Wright's name alone appears on the lease.

The jury in Strong's trial also had access to thick packets of printed text messages and emails between Wright and Strong that were not shown in open court.

Scott Dolan can be contacted at 791-6304 or at:

sdolan@mainetoday.com

 

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