ALFRED, Maine — A Turner man has been found guilty by a jury of engaging prostitute Alexis Wright.
Donald Fortin, 59, of 83 Skillings Woods Road, Turner, is the first of Wright’s alleged clients to be found guilty by a jury. Fortin’s trial began Monday, Sept. 9 in York County Superior Court and the jury’s decision came Thursday, Sept. 12 after just over an hour of deliberation.
Fortin was convicted of the misdemeanor engaging a prostitute and was fined $610, including surcharges. He will not face jail time.
Kennebunk police officials said Fortin had claimed he paid for a massage, but nothing else, when he saw Wright. He took the stand in his own defense during the trial.
Fortin is the second of Wright’s alleged clients to take their case to trial. In late August, former Kennebunk High School hockey coach Donald Hill was acquitted on a charge of engaging Wright’s services, after a judge ruled his trial should not continue due to a lack of evidence.
Hill would have faced a $1,000 fine, if convicted.
Deputy District Attorney Justina McGettigan said prosecutors introduced Skype screenshot images from Oct. 24, 2011, of Fortin engaging in sexual contact with Wright. In addition to that evidence, she said the investigating Kennebunk Police Officer Audra Presby testified that Fortin called her in October of 2012 asking if he was on Wright’s client list and told Presby that he visited Wright and paid her only for a massage.
Fortin reiterated that in his testimony, McGettigan said, adding that when he visited Wright expecting a massage she seemed aroused and came on to him.
Wright did not testify during Fortin’s trial, McGettigan said. Prosecutors chose not to call her to the stand after a judge ruled she could exercise her Fifth Amendment right. A judge made the same decision during Hill’s trial.
A total of 68 individuals were charged in relation to the case, more than 58 of whom have pleaded guilty. The remaining clients are pursuing trials in York County Superior Court.
Wright, 30, of Wells, is serving a 10-month sentence in York County Jail after pleading guilty to 20 counts related to prostitution and tax-related offenses for running a prostitution operation out of her Kennebunk Zumba studio for more than a year and a half. Her business partner, Mark Strong, 57, of Thomaston, was found guilty of charges relating to promoting prostitution.