January 31, 2013

Wright's attorney to lobby for co-defendant in Zumba appeal

Prosecutors want 46 invasion-of-privacy charges reinstated against Mark Strong, Wright's alleged co-conspirator in the high-profile prostitution case.

By Scott Dolan sdolan@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

PORTLAND — The attorney for Alexis Wright, the central figure in the Kennebunk prostitution case, plans to join a hearing before Maine’s highest court to fight prosecutors’ appeal to reinstate dozens of charges against the other major defendant in the case.

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Alexis Wright, left, and her attorney Sarah Churchill.

Tim Greenway / Staff Photographer

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Mark Strong Sr.

Tim Greenway/Staff Photographer

Sarah Churchill said she plans to file a legal brief with the Maine Supreme Judicial Court to add her arguments against the appeal.

Last week, Superior Court Justice Nancy Mills dismissed 46 counts against Mark Strong Sr. related to violation of privacy.

The dismissal prompted the prosecution to appeal to the high court and halted Strong’s trial midway through jury selection in York County Superior Court.

Churchill, whose client faces 46 identical charges, said, “I think, in terms of the nature of the violation of privacy charges, that legal arguments apply to both cases.”

She said it will be up to the Supreme Court justices to decide whether she is called to speak at the appeal hearing on Feb. 13.

“I plan to attend on Feb. 13. And if they want to hear from me, I’d be happy to” speak, she said.

“It makes sense for me to, because it has a potential to have a large impact on my client’s case.”

Wright is expected to go to trial in May.

Strong, 57, of Thomaston, is accused of conspiring with Wright to run a one-woman prostitution business from her Zumba studio in Kennebunk, and of helping her make video recordings of her encounters with customers.

Jury selection for his trial began Jan. 22.

In dismissing the 46 counts against Strong, Mills agreed with Strong’s attorney, Daniel Lilley, that prostitution customers cannot expect privacy when they go to a place and commit a crime.

Wright, 30, of Wells, is scheduled for trial in May on 106 counts, including the 46 counts of violation of privacy.

Both defendants have pleaded not guilty to all of the charges against them.

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

sdolan@pressherald.com

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