Zumba Prostitution Case: Judge in Mark Strong trial to address motion to toss 13 counts

Mark Strong Sr., right, sits with his attorney Dan Lilley, left, during his arraignment, Oct. 9, 2012, in Portland, Maine, on 59 charges, including promotion of prostitution and violation of privacy in connection with a Kennebunk Zumba dance studio. Strong Jr. entered a plea of not guilty.
AP Photo/Joel Page
Mark Strong Sr., right, sits with his attorney Dan Lilley, left.
AP Photo/Joel Page

(CBS/AP) ALFRED, Maine - The judge in the trial of Mark Strong Sr., an insurance agent accused of helping fitness instructor Alexis Wright use her Zumba studio as a front for prostitution, is giving jurors a respite from testimony to address several motions, including a request to toss the remaining 13 counts.

PICTURES: Zumba instructor accused of prostitution

Justice Nancy Mills must decide whether Strong's rights trump a state law that bars release of investigators' personnel files, and she must decide how much porn jurors will see.

There's also a motion to dismiss remaining counts against Strong, whose lawyer have accused prosecutors of missing deadlines for turning over discovery documents in the high-profile case.

Those issues were to be discussed Tuesday morning.

Testimony on Monday focused largely on 86 items seized from Strong's Thomaston home and business in July, about five months after police raided Wright's home, studio and office in Kennebunk on Valentine's Day last year.

Saco Police Detective Frederick Williams, who reviewed seized hard drives, said Strong deleted all the email from his office computer on Feb. 15, 2012, a day after investigators raided Wrights studio, office and home.

He also said he found spreadsheets, tax documents and snapshots from Skype video chats on Strong's computer and on computer equipment belonging Wright.

Jurors weren't told of sexually explicit images on Strong's computer that prosecutors contend show he knew about the prostitution. The defense said showing the panel the more than 500 photos would be prejudicial.

"It's going to horrify some of these people to the point (Strong) is not going to be able to get a fair verdict," defense lawyer Daniel Lilley told the judge while the jury was out of earshot.

The prostitution scandal attracted international attention 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.

Both Strong and Wright have pleaded not guilty. Wright will be tried later for dozens of charges that include prostitution and tax violations.

Complete coverage of the Zumba Prostitution Scandal on Crimesider