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August 2012 Archives

Wright's Pura Vida/Zumba Dance Studio Prostitution Case Article

Please see the newspaper article below on pressherald.com regarding the Alexis Wright Pura Vida/Zumba Dance Studio Prostitution case. We have had inquires from alleged Client's of Ms. Wright, and are following this story as a result. If you need legal representation to deal with either potential criminal prosecution or the threat of subpoena by Attorney Dan Lilley's Office, we are more than pleased to assist. We recognize that this is an extremely sticky and potentially explosive situation, and we are pleased to help you if assistance is needed. For more on Zerillo Law, LLC, click here.

Bill Nemitz: Slow-moving prostitution case has lots of people squirming By Bill Nemitz bnemitz@mainetoday.com Columnist Portland attorney Dan Lilley's phone is ringing off the hook these days. So is fellow Portland barrister Sarah Churchill's. "I've gotten a myriad of calls," Churchill, who's representing a young woman linked to an alleged prostitution ring in Kennebunk, said in an interview this week. "I'm keeping a log -- I had to, to keep it all straight." "I've had calls from lawyers who represent, as they put it, the johns," echoed Lilley, who's defending Mark Strong Sr. of Thomaston against a charge of promoting said prostitution. "Put it this way. I believe -- I have to be careful here -- I believe there is a clients list of 100 or more people on it, but I have not seen it." People? What kind of people? "I've heard there's lawyers, doctors, politicians, some clergy members, some police officers," Lilley said. "These are the rumors, but I don't have any evidence. They won't give me anything -- they're treating me like an unwanted relative." Welcome to a nail-biter of an ever-so-slowly developing news story -- at least for those who for obvious reasons now wish they'd never heard of Alexis Wright's Pura Vida/Zumba dance studio, let alone set foot inside it. To recap: Last month, police charged Strong with overseeing a dance studio/prostitution shop allegedly run by Wright in otherwise sleepy Kennebunk. According to a police affidavit on file in York County Superior Court, Wright maintained "several client ledgers of sexual acts, hours of video recordings and meticulous records of clients and the sexual acts performed by Alexis Wright. A monetary value was given to each sexual act, depending on what type of sexual act was performed." The affidavit by Kennebunk Police Officer Audra Presby also says: "The numerous sex acts were video recorded unbeknownst to the males she was having sex with." Wright has not been charged, although Churchill said that will likely change in the near future. Ditto, she said, for the johns. "I have reason to believe that the DA's office has taken the position that they're going to charge the johns, they're going to charge my client and they're going to go forward against (Lilley's) client," Churchill said. "They're going to charge everybody -- it's a nobody-gets-a-break kind of thing." Which brings us back to all those nervous lawyers -- and, of course, the gentlemen on whose behalf the discreet inquiries are being made. Observed the never-shy Lilley: "The lawyers are now forming a club of some kind. I mean it, really -- they've got a couple of people in charge that are going to see if they can't sneak in (to court) and plead to something and maybe do a community service and keep a low profile." Sure, like that will work. York County District Attorney Kathryn Slattery declined comment Thursday, noting, "It's an ongoing investigation, so there's really not much I can say." But Lilley, no surprise, has plenty to say -- starting with his irritation that a motion for discovery he filed with Slattery weeks ago has yet to elicit any response whatsoever. He has now filed a motion to dismiss the charge against Strong. Lilley is also peeved that six months into this case -- police first showed up at the dance studio with a search warrant on Valentine's Day -- his client is the only one with a mug shot. "It's the craziest case because here we have my client charged with promotion of prostitution without a prostitute and without anybody engaging a prostitute," Lilley said. "So what is my guy promoting?" Churchill is equally mystified. "Typically speaking, an investigation starts from the bottom -- the low-level folks -- and works its way up to the top of the pyramid," she said. "Here, we've turned the pyramid on its head and they've charged -- in theory, as far as they're saying -- the top of it first." Some might take that as a sign that Madame Wright is already cooperating with investigators in exchange for immunity or a lesser charge. Not true, says Churchill. "This is certainly not a case where there are agreements for my client to testify against anybody else," Churchill said. "That's certainly not the reason why she hasn't been charged." So ... what is the reason? Contacted Thursday, Kennebunk Police Chief Robert MacKenzie said the whole sordid matter will be resolved in "good time." "Obviously, a lot of people want to know (where this thing is headed) and I totally understand that," MacKenzie said. "From our standpoint, we have to make sure everything's investigated thoroughly and so that's exactly what we're doing." Meanwhile, the squirming goes on. As the case stands, there appear to be three ways that Wright's list of, ahem, clients could see the light of day. One, assuming Churchill's theory is correct, is that they'll all be charged with solicitation of prostitution. That, Churchill noted, could bog down York County's courts for months if the johns decide they have nothing left to lose by going on trial to try to salvage their good names (if not their marriages). Another possibility is that Wright will post her client list, say, on Facebook or some other bulletin board for all the world to see. Observed Churchill: "The DA's office, in and of itself, is not in complete control over whether those names get out." Finally, there's Lilley's promise that if Strong's case proceeds, all of the top-shelf lawyers in Maine won't stop him from "hauling (the johns) in there if I need them for my defense." (Picture Lilley pointing to Strong at the defense table and asking red-faced witness Number 99, "Have you ever seen this man before?" "No," mumbles Number 99. "Next!" thunders Lilley.) Bottom line, look for all that lawyerly speed-dialing to soon give way to mea culpas crafted by crisis-management consultants. Before this slow-motion scandal is over, it now looks like the other shoe(s) will inevitably drop. "Exactly," agreed Lilley. "And it's going to make a big thud."

Warren man dies when motorcycle hits camper in Vassalboro

The Associated Press Posted Aug. 16, 2012, at 7:37 a.m. VASSALBORO, Maine — Police say a Warren man has died after the motorcycle he was operating struck a camper being towed on Route 3 in Vassalboro. State police say 62-year-old Paul Galipeau was driving his Harley-Davidson west at about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday when he struck the camper being towed by an eastbound van that was turning onto a side road. Galipeau was pronounced dead at the scene. He was not wearing a helmet. Neither the man driving the van nor his wife was hurt. The camper suffered severe damage and the motorcycle was totaled. The crash remains under investigation but police say neither speed nor alcohol were factors. For Zerillo Law, LLC, click here.

Tim Zerillo Gets Criminal Threatening with a Dangerous Weapon Dismissed in York County

My roll of getting serious felonies dismissed for my clients is (thankfully) continuing. In this case, our Client was charged with Criminal Threatening with Dangerous Weapon for brandishing a knife at a house guest. We were able to convince the District Attorney that there may have been a self-defense justification to this action. Through intensive preparation and plea bargaining, the felony Criminal Threatening was dismissed, in favor of a deferred disposition on a Disorderly Conduct. The Client will pay a fine, continue her counseling, and in 1 year, even the Disorderly Conduct will be dismissed. Our Client has already won the biggest battle - the felony has been dismissed - and the Disorderly Conduct will be soon as well. For more information about Zerillo Law, LLC, please visit our website by clicking here. --Tim

Tim Zerillo Gets Class A Robbery Case Dismissed in York County Superior Court

Client was charged with 3 felonies: Class A Robbery, Class C Criminal Threatening, Class C Reckless Conduct.  Through intensive investigation and work with the alleged victims, I was able to convince the District Attorney that the Robbery needed to be outright dismissed (this had a 4 year mandatory minimum sentence that could not be reduced if the Client was found guilty).  We agreed to enter into an 18 month deferred dispositions, in exchange for the 2nd Offender Alternative Sentencing Program with dismissals of all charges at the end.In summary, here is what happened:1. the Robbery was dismissed,
2. the client will spend 7 days in an Alternative Sentencing Program,
3. if he stays out of trouble for 18 months, the remaining counts will be dismissed,
4. after successful completion of the deferred disposition the client will have no convictions whatsoever,
5. further, because of this deal, the client will not lose his gun rights.This is a great deal for our client in a very serious and complicated case.For more about Zerillo Law, LLC, click here.--Tim

Horrible 6th Circuit Decision Indicates That The Police Can Track You Via Your Cell Phone Without Violating The Fourth Amendment

Here is a truly horrible case from the 6th Circuit yesterday that is (hopefully) headed to the Supreme Court of the United States.  From United States v. Skinner:
The government used data emanating from Melvin Skinner’s pay-as-you-go cell
phone to determine its real-time location. This information was used to establish
Skinner’s location as he transported drugs along public thoroughfares between Arizona
and Tennessee. As a result of tracking the cell phone, DEA agents located Skinner and
his son at a rest stop near Abilene, Texas, with a motorhome filled with over 1,100
pounds of marijuana. The district court denied Skinner’s motion to suppress all evidence
obtained as a result of the search of his vehicle, and Skinner was later convicted of two
counts related to drug trafficking and one count of conspiracy to commit money
laundering. The convictions must be upheld as there was no Fourth Amendment
violation, and Skinner’s other arguments on appeal lack merit. In short, Skinner did not
have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the data emanating from his cell phone that
showed its location.

For information on Zerillo Law, LLC, click here.


In the Lincoln County Superior Court last week, Attorney John Burke of Zerillo Law, LLC was successful in getting his client a 6 month Deferred Disposition in a Domestic Assault case. Attorney Burke obtained information that contradicted the State's evidence, which led to this excellent result for his client. The only condition of the deferment is that the client not violate any state or federal law and the matter will be dismissed in 6 months.   Well done Attorney Burke!

Attorney Amy Robidas Gets Domestic Assault in York County Dismissed

In the York County Superior Court in Alfred today, Attorney Amy Robidas was able to get a Domestic Violence Assault case dismissed in favor of a disorderly conduct.  Attorney Robidas gathered information that showed that the alleged victim may have been the aggressor in the assault, prompting the District Attorney to cut a nice deal for our client, who is from Massachusetts.  The alleged assault occurred while the client was on vacation in Maine.For more information on Zerillo Law, LLC, visit out website by clicking here.