Questioning of johns in Kennebunk prostitution case to last seven more weeks

Mark W. Strong Sr., 57, listens in Cumberland County Superior Court in Portland with his attorney Daniel Lilley Tuesday Oct. 9, 2012, where he was arraigned on 59 criminal charges. Those include 12 counts of promotion of prostitution, two counts of conspiracy, and 45 counts of invasion of privacy with an inside device.
Mark W. Strong Sr., 57, listens in Cumberland County Superior Court in Portland with his attorney Daniel Lilley Tuesday Oct. 9, 2012, where he was arraigned on 59 criminal charges. Those include 12 counts of promotion of prostitution, two counts of conspiracy, and 45 counts of invasion of privacy with an inside device. Buy Photo
Posted Oct. 27, 2012, at 3:29 p.m.

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Alexis S. Wright, 29, of Wells listens to her attorney, Sarah Churchill in Cumberland County Superior Court Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012 where she was arraigned on 106 criminal charges. Those include failure to pay taxes in 2009, 2010 and 2011 and engaging in prostitution, promotion of prostitution, violation of privacy with an inside device, conspiracy, unsworn falsification, evasion of income tax and felony theft.
Alexis S. Wright, 29, of Wells listens to her attorney, Sarah Churchill in Cumberland County Superior Court Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012 where she was arraigned on 106 criminal charges. Those include failure to pay taxes in 2009, 2010 and 2011 and engaging in prostitution, promotion of prostitution, violation of privacy with an inside device, conspiracy, unsworn falsification, evasion of income tax and felony theft. Buy Photo

ALFRED, Maine — The chief prosecutor in the prostitution case against Mark W. Strong Sr. has asked the court to reject the defense request to drop the charges.

The prosecution expects that it will take another seven weeks to complete interviews with the remaining men expected to be charged as johns in the wide-ranging case.

Strong has been indicted on 59 counts that include promotion of prostitution, invasion of privacy and conspiracy. The 57-year-old Thomaston man has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Strong’s attorney, Daniel Lilley of Portland, had filed a motion with Justice Nancy Mills asking for dismissal, claiming that the prosecution has not provided evidence that his client needs to prepare for the case.

But Deputy District Attorney Justina McGettigan filed a response Thursday in opposition to Lilley’s request.

The prosecutor listed all the evidence presented to the defense and argued that the defense must show that Strong was prejudiced by the discovery violation to the point that it deprived him of a fair trial.

“Dismissal by the court is an extreme action and should be used for extreme cases. Here, there has been no failure by the state to provide discovery to counsel,” McGettigan stated.

Strong was arrested July 10 but that original charge was dropped by the district attorney’s office after a grand jury indicted him Oct. 3 on the multiple counts. He was arraigned on the 59 charges Oct. 9 and on that day the defense made a motion for discovery, meaning for the state to turn over the evidence it has in the case.

The state said it provided evidence on Sept. 21, Sept. 28, Oct. 5, Oct. 17 and Oct. 23.

The prosecution also filed a list of evidence it has turned over to the defense, which includes 4,238 pages of documents that have been paginated and provided in binders, 42 compact disks, 19 writable compact disc recordables, 13 digital video discs and an internal hard drive.

The district attorney’s office said that evidence yet to be provided to either Strong or Alexis Wright, 29, of Wells, is further reports of interviews with defendants expected to be charged with engaging a prostitute, a report on an analysis of cellphone records, reports from computer analysts and results of Facebook searches.

McGettigan stated in the Thursday court filing that the timetable for completion of the investigation would be “seven weeks to complete the interviews of remaining defendants expected to be charged with engaging a prostitute and provide reports to the counsel.”

Thirty-nine people have been charged thus far with engaging a prostitute. The Kennebunk Police Department is releasing the names of men charged every two weeks at the same time that it releases its regular police report to the media.

The state also listed items it has returned to Strong, which include tax records from 2004 through 2011, insurance agency paperwork, eight computers, two cellphones and a photograph of a Westbrook police officer.

Evidence returned to Wright include an iPod and a compact disc labeled “Yeah.”

But the prosecution also noted in paperwork filed this week that it has retained for trial seven computers, a scanner, two cellphones, a global positioning system, surveillance glasses, night vision glasses and various cameras and equipment.

Strong also has a private investigator’s license.

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