ALFRED, Maine (AP) — A judge on Tuesday delayed the trial of a key figure in a prostitution scandal centered at a Zumba dance studio, telling lawyers that the state supreme court must rule on her decision to dismiss 46 counts before the trial can proceed.
The state supreme court quickly issued an expedited briefing schedule leading up to oral arguments on Feb. 13, delaying the trial at least two more weeks.
Lawyers for Mark Strong Sr. wanted to move forward on the remaining 13 counts, but Justice Nancy Mills said the high court ruling is necessary to avoid the possibility of two separate trials, should the counts be reinstated.
Strong, 57, of Thomaston, was originally charged with 59 misdemeanor counts including conspiring with Alexis Wright, who's accused of using her Kennebunk dance studio as a prostitution front.
The 46 dismissed counts dealt with invasion of privacy of prostitution clients who were allegedly videotaped without their knowledge during sexual encounters.
In dismissing those counts, the judge agreed with the defense contention that people engaged in criminal acts don't have a right to privacy under a state law aimed at protecting the privacy of people in dressing rooms.
The 13 remaining counts all deal with promotion of prostitution, and one conspiracy count.