Judge must open jury selection in Maine Zumba case

January 24, 2013 - 4:31 PM

ALFRED, Maine (AP) — Maine's highest court has ordered a judge to open remaining jury selection to the public in the trial of the first figure in a prostitution scandal centered on a Zumba dance studio.

Members of the jury pool were sent home Thursday after the Maine Supreme Judicial Court stopped the process in response to a request by the parent company of The Portland Press Herald. In a 6-1 ruling, the court later ordered the remainder of the process to be open to the public. No jurors have been seated out of an original pool of about 140.

Mark Strong of Thomaston pleaded not guilty to 59 misdemeanor counts including conspiring with dance instructor Alexis Wright, who's accused of using her Kennebunk studio as a prostitution front.

His lawyers have made a motion to dismiss 47 of the counts. The judge hasn't yet ruled.