ALFRED, Maine (AP) — The jury in the trial of an insurance agent charged with promoting prostitution watched a 45-minute video Thursday showing a sexual encounter between a Zumba fitness instructor and a man who left cash on her massage table.
Jurors also viewed video chats indicating defendant Mark Strong Sr. was familiar with the sexual encounters featuring his mistress, Alexis Wright, in Kennebunk while he watched via Skype from his office 100 miles away in Thomaston.
Prosecutors have more than 150 videos but showed jurors only a single 45-minute recording that depicted Wright making chitchat with an older man who arrived and immediately began undressing. After their sexual encounter, she used disposable wipes to clean up, escorted the man to the door and then spoke to another man, believed to be Strong, at the other end of the Skype chat.
Police computer expert Frederick Williams told jurors the video was recovered from a device belonging to Wright and that Strong's computer had 45 snapshots made from the same encounter.
Defense lawyer Daniel Lilley said the evidence showed his client was aware of paid sex, but he contended a crime was not committed because Strong neither recruited clients nor profited from the operation.
"Observing a person in a criminal act is not a criminal act itself," Lilley told reporters Thursday, adding that Strong was embarrassed to have his wife in court to hear testimony of his affair.
Strong, 57, of Thomaston, faces 13 counts that relate to promoting prostitution. A judge previously dismissed 46 counts of invasion of privacy over prostitution clients who were said to have been videotaped without their knowledge.
On Thursday, Williams told jurors how he recovered a ledger from Wright's computer that described sexual encounters in entries from Oct. 5, 2010, through Feb. 13, 2012, the day before police raided her office and studio in Kennebunk and her home in Wells.
He also found a key that described a variety of sexual acts, and those matched with the sex acts — and a $250 payment — with the alleged client shown on the video seen by jurors. One ledger entry showed a payment of $500 for a sexual encounter, Williams said.
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