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Investigator’s records turned over in Kennebunk prostitution trial

ALFRED, Maine — An attorney for the town of Kennebunk turned over some personnel records Friday to defense lawyers who intend to attack the credibility of the lead investigator in a prostitution scandal centered at a Zumba fitness studio.

Lawyers for Mark Strong Sr. clashed with prosecutors and the town’s attorney after being told that municipal workers’ personnel records are confidential under state law and that disciplinary actions against officers are purged because of union rules.

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Minutes later, Kennebunk Police Chief Robert MacKenzie testified under cross-examination that the records still exist, even after being removed from an officer’s personnel file. He also confirmed that the lead investigator, Audra Presby, was once reprimanded.

The defense wants to delve into Presby’s background, including an affair with her supervisor that led to her reprimand and his resignation. The defense also contends there was a complaint against Presby for allegedly abusing a boy.

‘‘Our suggestion was that she committed a crime, and a serious crime, and nothing was done about it,’’ defense lawyer Dan Lilley told the judge Friday.

MacKenzie testified he was told there was no merit to the complaint.

After the exchange, the town’s attorney provided some documents to the defense, but it was unclear what the papers contained.

Still pending was a motion by Lilley to dismiss the 13 remaining counts against Strong because of discovery violations.

Strong, 57, of Thomaston, is accused of helping dance instructor Alexis Wright run a prostitution business out of her dance studio. Both have pleaded innocent. Wright will be tried later.

Strong signed on as the guarantor of her studio, the defense said, but did not know about the prostitution.

Prosecutors contend that Strong communicated frequently with Wright about business details via video chat, e-mail, and text.

Justice Nancy Mills has told jurors that the trial, which has been delayed several times, could continue for three more weeks.

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