Jury selection has started at the York County Courthouse Tuesday morning for the case against Mark Strong, co-conspirator of a Zumba Prostitution ring with Alexis Wright. According to the local paper, the Kennebec Journal, the selection got off to a slow start after going through challenges of finding potential jurors who haven’t been talking to the media and those who don’t know the people involved in the case.
Court Justice Nancy Mills said that 250 jury summonses were sent throughout York County, yet the courtroom can only hold 111 so not everyone may be able to attend. Officials say that it may take several days to choose a jury.
Mark Strong, who pleaded not guilty, is being represented at the trial by Defense Attorney Daniel Lilley, who told the court this wouldn’t be a fair trial for his client. “The question is, can they be fair?” Lilley said. “[Jury selection] is a long, laborious process, most of which can’t be done in public.”
During the selection, more than 140 jurors were sent into the second-floor courtroom with the doors closed for privacy. After an hour and a half, jurors were given questionnaires about their lives and on their knowledge of the case.
The case was made against Strong, a private investigator accused of running a prostitution service with Kennebunk fitness instructor Alexis Wright.
Due to capacity size, Judge Mills has denied the media and public access inside the courtroom. The trial is expected to last between two to three weeks. Prosecutors have already sent a list of more than 50 witnesses, including some from law enforcement and men who were convicted of engaging with a prostitute.
Mark Strong faces 59 misdemeanor counts including promotion of prostitution, conspiracy, and violation of privacy. Wright will have her trial hearing in May.