ALFRED, Maine (AP) — Prosecutors rested their case Monday in the trial of an insurance agent accused of helping a Zumba instructor engage in prostitution and didn't call any of the alleged johns to testify.
The defense stipulated that paid-sex acts took place on two-dozen dates, ending the need for prostitution clients' testimony.
Mark Strong Sr.'s defense lawyers followed with a motion Monday to dismiss 12 of 13 counts that relate to the promotion of prosecution. The judge didn't immediately rule.
Strong, 57, of Thomaston, is accused of helping Alexis Wright use her Kennebunk fitness studio as a front for prostitution.
Strong acknowledged co-signing for the lease for Wright's studio but contends he didn't profit from her activities. She'll be tried later.
Videos played for jurors last week indicate Strong discussed operational details with Wright and watched paid-sex from his computer 100 miles away in Thomaston. On a video played for jurors Monday, for example, Strong told Wright that she needed more pillows.
The final witness for the state was the chief investigator, Kennebunk police officer Audra Presby. She testified that Wright, in addition to recording sex acts, had a video camera rolling while police executed a search warrant on Feb. 14, 2012. She said Skype video snapshots recovered from Strong's computer in Thomaston indicate he watched the search unfold live on his computer.
The defense contends Presby targeted Strong in the investigation as retaliation, because he was looking into unprofessional conduct by Kennebunk officers.
Presby told jurors Monday that she was "taken aback" when she learned that a yellow legal pad recovered from a search warrant executed at Strong's office indicated he'd been collecting information about her and other officers in the department.
She acknowledged that she'd had an affair with her superior, resulting in a reprimand. She also acknowledged she was once subject of a temporary protection-from-abuse order in which she was accused of sexual contact with a child. Police say the accusation was unfounded.
The defense was expected to use the admissions to attack Presby's credibility.
Presby was also questioned about a hard drive that ended up in her possession and contained no data when it arrived two days later at the state police computer lab. The defense has suggested that the blank drive could have contained Strong's investigatory files.
The prostitution scandal attracted international attention last fall after it was reported that Wright had ledgers indicating she made $150,000 over 18 months and had more than 150 clients, some of them prominent.
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