Westbrook police officer not involved in Zumba sex case

Posted Nov. 03, 2012, at 12:52 p.m.

WESTBROOK, Maine — A photograph of a Westbrook police officer seized from the home of a man connected with the Kennebunk prostitution case has no relevance to the ongoing investigation, according to police officials.

The photograph taken on July 10 from the home of Thomaston businessman Mark W. Strong Sr. shows the unnamed officer at his graduation several years ago from the Maine Criminal Justice Academy, according to a press release issued Friday afternoon by the city of Westbrook. The man was wearing his graduation uniform and was the only person in the photograph.

Strong, 57, has been indicted on 59 counts that include promotion of prostitution, invasion of privacy and conspiracy. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Police have accused Strong and fitness instructor Alexis Wright of running a prostitution business out of Wright’s Kennebunk Zumba studio. The case has attracted national media attention, and so far 39 people have been charged with engaging a prostitute.

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Kennebunk police seized and returned items from Strong’s home that include the photograph, two cellphones, eight computers, insurance agency paperwork and tax records from 2004 through 2011.

According to the Westbrook press release, the Westbrook officer had been high school friends with a member of the Strong family “many years ago.”

“Westbrook Police have been advised by both State Police and Kennebunk Police investigators that the referenced photograph has ‘absolutely no relevance to the ongoing Kennebunk case nor does it have relevancy to any police investigation,’” the release stated.

Last week, the chief prosecutor in the case against Strong 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.

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