Man guilty in Maine prostitution ring

March 7, 2013 at 9:28 AM
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KENNEBUNK, Maine, March 7 (UPI) -- A jury found a man accused of helping run a prostitution ring from a Maine fitness center guilty of all 13 counts against him, officials said.

Mark Strong was convicted of 12 counts of promotion of prostitution and one count of conspiracy to promote prostitution Wednesday, the Bangor (Maine) Daily News reported.

Prosecutors said Strong, 57, booked clients at the Purda Vista Studio, owned by Alexis Wright, in Kennebunk. Wright, 29, has been charged with operating a prostitution ring from the dance studio.

Evidence -- 14,000 photos depicting sex acts, 21,000 text messages, more than 100 videos and approximately 700 ledger entries showing sex-for-pay appointments -- ultimately led jurors to settle on a guilty verdict, the York County Coast Star, of Kennebunk, Maine, reported.

One 45-minute video shows Strong discussing a client with Wright before the client shows up, has sex with Wright and puts cash on a bed before leaving. Jurors looked at the evidence over 10 days.

Defense lawyers painted Strong as a man love-struck over a younger woman, the York County Coast Star reported. They said he did "stupid" things for love, and only "helped" Wright promote her business.

Defense Lawyer Dan Lilley argued Kennebunk police arrested Strong in retaliation because he was investigating allegedly corrupt practices in the department in his job as a private investigator.

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