ALFRED, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - Jury selection in the trial of Mark Strong, one of the main defendants in the Kennebunk Zumba prostitution trial, is expected to resume Wednesday morning.
The process had been delayed by an appeal to the state supreme court. That appeal was recently decided and the judge is now hoping the trial can get underway Wednesday.
Tuesday the judge handled some final motions paving the way for the trial to move forward. First Justice Nancy Mills took up a possible conflict of interest involving herself. Her sister-in-law, Janet Mills, has now been sworn in as Maine Attorney General and her husband's law firm represented one of the main investigators of the Strong case from the Kennebunk Police Department. All the attorneys in the Strong case agreed that Mills could oversee the trial fairly and impartially, so she will remain on the case.
Judge Mills then took up the matter of whether defense attorney Dan Lilley could put either of the two prosecutors on the witness stand to testify. He has maintained the government went overboard with their investigation of his client and selectively chose him to go after. The judge said the prosecutors will not have to testify because that issue has no bearing on the verdict jurors will reach in this trial.
"The question of selective prosecution or what the D.A.'s office may or may not have done is not a relevant issue for trial because it has no bearing whatsoever on the guilt or innocence of the defendant", Mills said.
In the final matter Strong's attorney asked that the judge lift her order barring him, his client and the other attorneys from discussing the case with the media. Lilley said it's a matter of free speech. The prosecutor argued in favor of keeping the order in place, saying the media was already granted enough access to the case without the attorneys speaking as well. The judge ruled she would keep the order in place until a jury is seated.