March 18, 2013

Defense: Verdicts in Zumba trial not valid

The Associated Press

PORTLAND — Lawyers for a Maine man convicted in a prostitution scandal are asking a judge to declare that 12 of the jury's 13 guilty verdicts were not valid.

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(FILE) Mark Strong leaving the Cumberland County Courthouse on Friday, January 18, 2013.

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The defense filed a motion on Monday, three days before Mark Strong Sr. of Thomaston is due to be sentenced.

The motion to arrest judgment cites constitutional concerns about 12 counts of promotion of prostitution, saying they were vague because prosecutors never spelled out specifically how Strong's actions promoted prostitution. It also noted that jurors were confused by overlapping charges.

Defense lawyer Dan Lilley contends a conspiracy count was the only one properly alleged in the indictment.

Strong acknowledged having an affair with dance instructor Alexis Wright and helping her open the Kennebunk studio but contended he didn't profit from prostitution.

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