Justice Nancy Mills presides over the Mark Strong trial
ALFRED, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - The Kennebunk prostitution trial involving Thomaston businessman Mark Strong is on hold.
The judge overseeing the case refused to sever the charges against Strong and split the case into two separate trials.
Jury selection in the case will not resume until the Maine Supreme Court decides the state's motion appealing the judge's decision to dismiss the majority of charges against Strong.
Strong's attorney argued the state's appeal is frivolous.
"This case should go forward so we can benefit for our toil that we have been involved with in picking a jury. We're now into this for a week", Dan Lilley told the judge.
The prosecutor argued the invasion of privacy charges that were dismissed and promotion of prostitution charges that Strong still faces are all part of one scheme or plan. She's hopefully that high court will rule the state can go forward with its original case against Strong including all the charges,
"And the court's decision to dismiss those counts has severely impaired the state's prosecution", Justina McGettigan told the judge.
If the trial moved forward now Strong would face the possibility of two separate trials, one of the 13 prostitution charges a second trial on the privacy charges iuf they were reinstated. The judge ruled against that.
"Two different trials, two different juries, potential for inconsistent results is not anything I think anybody wants. So for all those reasons I'm going to deny the motion to sever the counts", said Justice Nancy Mills.
Late Tuesday afternoon the Maine Supreme Court scheduled a hearing for oral arguments on the state's appeal. It's set for February 13th at 2:00pm in Portland.