Lawyer wants charges dismissed against Thomaston businessman in prostitution case

Posted Sept. 03, 2012, at 10:23 a.m.
Mark Strong
Knox County Jail
Mark Strong

ALFRED, Maine — A hearing is scheduled for Sept. 14 on whether a promotion of prostitution charge against the 56-year-old owner of a Thomaston insurance company should be dismissed.

Mark W. Strong Sr.’s attorney, Daniel Lilley, filed the dismissal motion in York County Superior Court, arguing that the failure of the prosecution to provide the defense with any evidence violated his client’s right to prepare a defense.

Strong was arrested July 10 in Thomaston, the same day police conducted a search of his home and Strong Insurance company office. The affidavit used to obtain an arrest warrant filed by the Kennebunk Police Department stated that Strong had a significant business and personal connection with the woman at the center of the case.

Strong entered a not guilty plea to the charge.

Lilley said Friday afternoon he has not been provided the evidence that the district attorney’s office has collected from the police investigation. The Portland attorney said Friday the district attorney’s office has not even returned telephone calls he has made asking why he has not received the information.

“I feel like an unwanted guest at a Labor Day party,” Lilley said.

A telephone message was left Monday morning for the district attorney’s office; however, it is Labor Day and government offices are closed.

The defense attorney said he has received calls from several attorneys who represent men who may have visited the woman who is at the center of the prostitution case. Lilley said the attorneys are trying to find out what he knows but he has no information for them.

He pointed out that no one else has been charged in the case, including the woman with whom police said Strong had the connection. The defense attorney asked how police could have charged Strong but not anyone else.

LIlley said he has heard that there are 150 to 200 names on the list of clients seized by police from the woman in Kennebunk who ran a Zumba studio.

The dismissal motion was filed Aug. 23. Strong is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 4 for docket call, which is when cases are scheduled for trials, but that could change depending on the Sept. 14 hearing.

Lilley had previously said his client, who also holds a private investigator’s license, was hired by the Kennebunk dance studio owner because she said police were harassing her. Kennebunk police have denied that claim.

The criminal complaint alleges that Strong promoted prostitution in Kennebunk from October 2010 from February 2012.

Police seized electronic client ledgers which included video recordings of the woman performing sex acts on males, reportedly without the males being aware of the recordings, according to the affidavit. The ledgers listed detailed records of payments and police found that the acts generated income of about $150,000, according to the affidavit which attributes the amount to the woman’s Maine tax filings.

The review of those records determined that Strong had a significant business and personal connection to the woman and these illegal acts, according to the affidavit. The police said they found significant bank records, insurance documents and telephone records of the connection.

On a video seized by police, the woman is talking on Skype with Strong and is asking him to run motor vehicle registration information.

The affidavit further states that Strong, as a private investigator, has used the Bureau of Motor Vehicle records, to query potential clients for the woman and other individuals.

Records filed in the Knox County Registry of Deeds show that property tax liens were placed on Strong’s home in both 2009 and 2010 but were both paid off within three months from when the liens were filed.

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