ALFRED, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - Jurors in the Mark Strong prostitution trial heard their first testimony from prosecution Today.
Strong is one of the two main defendants in the Kennebunk Zumba prostitution case. He is charged with 12 counts of promotion of prostitution and 1 count of conspiracy.
The prosecution claims Mark Strong managed or controlled the Kennebunk prostitution business run by Alexis Wright. Today we heard very little evidence linking Strong to that operation. Instead the prosecutor spent the day trying to establish that there was prostitution going on at buildings Alexis Wright leased in Kennebunk.
The prosecution claims mark Strong was in constant contact with wright through e-mails, phone calls and video chats discussing the prostitution business and the clients.
On the stand this morning Christopher West the owner of the space Wright leased across from the Zumba studio testified he observed men showing up at the location from early in the morning until 2 or 3 in the afternoon in half hour to hour increments. He also testified he heard moaning and groaning and other noises coming from the space. He did not link Mark Strong to the location.
Then the Kennebunk Code enforcement officer took the stand. He testified strong showed up with Alexis wright when she applied for a building permit. He also testified Strong and Wrights names were on the lease for the Zumba Studio.
Strong's lawyer pointed out that Strong was listed on the lease as the guarantor, someone who guarantees that the lease payments will be made. Attorney Dan Lilley's contention has been that Strong loaned money to Alexis Wright for her business but was not involved in a prostitution business.
Testimony on Friday will start later that usual tomorrow. Jurors were told to come back at 10:30. They are expected hear from police officers involved in a search of Mark Strong's insurance business in Thomaston. They are also expected to hear from experts from the Computer Crimes Taskforce about possible evidence found on computers seized in that search.
The trial is expected to last about two weeks.