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October 2012 Archives

Attorney John Burke gets two cases Filed in York and Cumberland County

In Portland yesterday, Attorney John Burke of Zerillo Law, LLC was able to get a Operating Without a License case filed for 6 months in Cumberland County. Attorney Burke was also able to get a Representing/Displaying a License of Another case filed for 6 months in York County. A Filing is like a delayed dismissal. As long as the Client doesn't have new charges in the next 6 months, the criminal charge will be automatically dismissed at the end of that period. This means our Client will have no criminal conviction, probation or jail time. Well done, John. For more information on Zerillo Law, LLC, click here.

Attorney Timothy Zerillo of Zerillo Law, LLC Receives New England Super Lawyers Rising Stars Achievement for 3rd Consecutive Year

From PRMaine.com:
Published Tuesday, October 30th, 2012 at 1:28 pm
Timothy E. Zerillo Receives New England Super Lawyers Recognition for 3rd Consecutive Year
(Portland, Maine) October 30, 2012 - Timothy E. Zerillo, founder of Zerillo Law, LLC in Portland, ME, has been selected to the annual New England Super Lawyer's Rising Stars list for the 3rd consecutive year.
The selection process for Super Lawyers includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations. Super Lawyers is published as a special section in leading city and regional magazines across the country. New England Super Lawyers contains lawyers chosen from all of the New England States.
Attorney Zerillo (www.GetZerillo.com) founded Zerillo Law, LLC in Portland, Maine in 2001. Attorney Zerillo practices in Courts throughout Maine, in Federal Courts for the District of Maine, in the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston, and in the Supreme Court of the United States. Attorney Zerillo's practice includes plaintiff's personal injury and catastrophic injury representation, criminal defense and appeals, Federal litigation and complex divorce litigation.
Attorney Zerillo is a former President of the Maine Association of Criminal Defense Lawyer's, where he currently serves as Chair of their Legal Education Committee. In 2012 he was awarded the President's Award for the Maine Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, which is given to the lawyer who best exemplifies the goals of the organization. He is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (www.NACDL.com), American Association for Justice (www.justice.org), the Edward Gignoux Inn of Court and the Maine Trial Lawyer's Association. Attorney Zerillo is peer review rated by Martindale Hubbell, and is ranked with a perfect score of 10 out of 10 for legal ability and ethics by A.V.V.O. (www.avvo.com).
Additional information can be found at the Zerillo Law website, www.GetZerillo.com, at Attorney Zerillo's Blog, www.LawInMaine.com, or by calling 207.775.4255.

Drug Sweep in Old Orchard Beach - York County - Nets 46 Arrests

From todays Press Herald:
Police apprehend 46 in Maine drug sweep
They seize $155,000 in drugs, including heroin, crack cocaine, methamphetamines, prescription drugs and steroids.
By David Hench dhench@mainetoday.com Staff Writer
OLD ORCHARD BEACH — Police on Monday announced the arrests of 46 people in a series of drug investigations over the past four months, part of a new strategy aimed at attacking the drug problem rather than reacting to it.
Police said they seized $155,000 worth of drugs including heroin, crack cocaine, methamphetamine, prescription drugs and steroids.
"This kind of activity is really nothing new, but I've assigned two people specifically to do these investigations," said Police Chief Dana Kelley. "It's not a culmination. It's where we are at to this point.
"We felt like we needed to get the word out, that this activity is not something we're taking lightly," he said.
The bust included the seizure of methamphetamine and eight pounds of marijuana that had been shipped to Maine from California, and 15 pounds of marijuana from Washington state, police said.
A dozen separate investigations are under way, Kelley said, by agencies including the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in Maine and Washington state, the U.S. Postal Service, the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency and the Washington County Sheriff's Office.
Many are in response to residents reporting suspicious activity. Police expect more arrests.
Town Manager Mark Pearson said the drug problem has a direct effect on residents' quality of life.
"The drug network and the drug dealing and usage does have correlation to different crimes: shoplifting, crimes against people, crimes against property," he said, with burglaries and robberies of particular concern.
"It does affect the quality of life in neighborhoods. It affects property values," he said.
After getting complaints from residents about drug activity, Old Orchard Beach police began the crackdown this spring by reassigning officers from daily patrol shifts to the investigations.
The department has filled in patrol shifts when needed with supervisors or by using overtime, Kelley said. He said the department cannot sustain that indefinitely and will ask for budget support.
As long as the unit continues to show results, Pearson said, he will support funding for it.
"We're trying to work within the framework of our budget," he said. "In order to sustain it, we're going to have to appropriate some funds."
He said one investigation can lead to others, some unrelated to drug dealing. For instance, an arrest during the weekend led to information about someone who had not registered on the state Sex Offender Registry, as required.
Anyone with information about suspected drug activity is asked to call Sgt. Gerard Hamilton at 937-5837.
Staff Writer David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:
For more on Zerillo Law, LLC, click here.

Tim Zerillo's Comments to Times Record on Gross Sexual Assault Case Charge Pending

Topsham massage therapist charged
BY DARCIE MOORE Times Record Staff
A Topsham massage therapist faces a charge of gross sexual assault after a complaint he inappropriately touched a woman.
[Name and Address Removed], was arrested Sept. 18 and charged with gross sexual assault. He posted $1,000 unsecured bail and was released, Topsham Police Chief Christopher Lewis said.
“[Name Removed] is greatly looking forward to his day in court. When called upon to do so, he will sternly and loudly proclaim he is not guilty of this charge,” said his attorney, Tim Zerillo of Zerillo Law LLC in Portland.
Lewis said police received a complaint Sept. 8 about an alleged incident that occurred a week prior at a Topsham fitness center where [Name Removed] works as a professional fitness trainer and licensed massage therapist.
A 47-year-old Freeport woman reported an incident of inappropriate touching that occurred as [Name Removed] was performing a massage on her, Lewis said.
Lewis said the incident remains under investigation, led by police officer William Collins. [Name Removed] has a Sagadahoc County Superior Court appearance scheduled for Nov. 6.
Nothing on record
According to the Maine Office of Professional and Occupational Regulation records for Massage Therapy Licensure, [Name Removed] has no disciplinary actions on record.
“Obviously, when anyone is charged, it’s merely just an accusation,” Zerillo said. “In [Name Removed] case what we have is a man with no prior record accused of some very serious crimes and we’re in our process of doing our investigation.”
Zerillo said he had not yet seen evidence from police.
He added, “We would really urge the people who are making these allegations to please consider being very careful in what they say to the police. We urge anyone who is making the allegation ... to stop and think before they do it and make sure that what they are saying is completely 100 percent accurate.”
For more on Zerillo Law, LLC, click here.

Tim Zerillo's Redcated Comments to the Press Herald on Alexis Wright Zumba Case

From today's Press Herald:

Timothy Zerillo, who represents a [Town Removed] man whose name was released this week, said the order in which people are being charged appears to be random.
His client, [Name Removed], 50, is a "normal guy," a businessman whose family has been deeply affected, Zerillo said.
The lawyer said [Name Removed] has been subjected to constant inquires from the media since his name was disclosed and looks forward to his day in court.
"These guys are taking an absolute beating," Zerillo said. "The state and the media have hung a flashing neon sign around their neck."
for more on Zerillo Law, LLC, click here.

Press Herald Article on Federal Child Pornography Sentence Variance in Zerillo Law Case

I hesitate to comment on this, because, while my clients know I represent those accused of crimes, they usually balk at the fact that I represent those accused of child pornography charges in the State of Maine, Federal Courts, and on appeal to the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston. Child pornography defendants are extremely despised, not only by the public, but also by Congress. In federal child pornography cases especially, the Sentencing Guidelines for child pornography offenses have spiked upward. This is not due to real empirical study related to the need for these long sentences, but it is rather due to congressional mandate. This has produced ridiculous results, like the result in the case below. My client below, faced a 60 year Federal Guideline Sentence. Thankfully, some of our arguments were embraced by the Court, and Judge Hornby gave our client a 28 year sentence. But understand please, these sentences are completely skewed for no good reason. I understand that is unpopular position. Here is the article from David Hench at the Press Herald.

Child porn gets Sanford man 28 years in prison Royce Breton, 32, of Sanford, who made the images and distributed them online, will appeal. By David Hench dhench@mainetoday.com Staff Writer A Sanford man has been sentenced to 28 years in federal prison for possessing, producing and distributing child pornography. Royce Breton, 32, who had no criminal record before the convictions, is scheduled for release when he is 60 years old. He will then than have 15 years of probation. Breton actually faced a much harsher sentence -- 60 years in prison -- under federal guidelines that mandate long sentences in child pornography cases. His convictions include making a pornographic image showing an infant relative. Prosecutors say Breton produced the pornography, then distributed it via an online messenger service. More than 300 images of child pornography were found on a computer in his home. Breton's lawyer, Timothy Zerillo, said the sentencing guidelines call for what is essentially a life sentence -- far longer than is typically handed down to people convicted of murder. "It is politically expedient and advantageous to pump up child pornography sentences and that's what Congress did here," Zerillo said. Assistant U.S. Attorney Stacey Neumann recommended a sentence of between 25 and 30 years in part because of what other defendants have received in similar cases. "We recommended a sentence we thought was appropriate, reasonable and just," Neumann said. U.S. District Court Judge D. Brock Hornby said the 60-year sentence called for under the guidelines is prohibited by statute. Ultimately, he decided 340 months in prison adequately reflected the seriousness of the crime while taking into account Royce's lack of criminal history, his positive work history and his volunteer efforts in the community. "Child pornography is evil to most people ... against all our taboos of society," Hornby said. "It's very difficult to understand what happened here," he said, referring to Breton, an otherwise law-abiding and responsible citizen. Breton entered the courtroom wearing orange jail clothing, his hands cuffed behind his back. A deputy U.S. Marshall uncuffed his hands for the proceeding. He sat stoically, telling the judge he understood his rights and that his medication did not interfere with his ability to comprehend the process. However, he wiped away tears as his mother, a licensed clinical social worker, described him as a good child growing up, a Boy Scout who was on the swim team, who grew into a respected worker at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. He was working the late shift so he could take courses at the University of New England to become a doctor, and he also volunteered with the Sanford Fire Department, Christine Fournier said. "He can still be a very worthwhile, productive part of society," she said. But prosecutors read another statement, one from a woman described only as "Cindy." She was described as a victim of Breton because he possessed and distributed images of her as a child, being sexually abused. That person is now an adult, but she and prosecutors say she is victimized every time someone views and shares those images. "Being sexually abused is something you never forget, no matter how hard you try. But when you have photographs of your abuse on the Internet, presently being viewed by others, it makes it even more impossible to keep it in your past and move on from it," she said. "It is like the abuse is still happening." At one point, she was notified whenever police would find her images on a person's computer. But it happened so often it made it worse, she said. "Instead of seeing a girl being used and abused in that picture or pictures, these men decide they would rather revictimize me by using the pictures for their own sick sexual desires, and trade them with others so they can do the same," her statement said. Hornby agreed that the woman was entitled to $2,730 to cover some of the health care and counseling expenses she has endured. The images of Cindy have been widely distributed among people who collect child pornography, and her lawyer, Thomas Watson, said he has sent her victim's statement and request for restitution to prosecutors for hundreds of cases just in the past year. "It's been eye-opening how many people are charged with her images," Watson said. "The defendants such as this guy always say 'I'm just one out of hundreds of guys looking at this. What harm am I doing?' " "You are part of a huge group of people and you're contributing to the problem just as the next guy that's looking at the pictures," he said. Breton will appeal his conviction to the First Circuit Court of Appeals and may also appeal the sentence, Zerillo said. Zerillo believes at some point the sentencing disparity between child pornography and other serious, often violent crimes, will reach the Supreme Court. Staff Writer David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at: dhench@pressherald.com
For more on Zerillo Law, LLC, click here.

Sympathy for those Dealing with the Alexis Wright Prostitution Scandal Mess

I hear from many clients that read this Blog, and there are many others who read the Blog that I don't know about. I wanted to send a message to those of you suffering from the Alexis Wright and Mark Strong prostitution mess out of Kennebunk. I represent currently 4 individuals who are either charged or might be charged in this scandal as customers of Alexis Wright. These are real people with families, spouses and jobs to protect. No matter how it is portrayed in the media, this is NOT the crime of the century. It is, however, a massive blow to your personal life in all likelihood. A piece of news that may affect those of you on the infamous list - Justice Nancy Mills has not agreed to seal the evidence in the case. A list may or may not be forthcoming in the media. I am betting, unfortunately, that the media will get its hands on it. So, on behalf of my Clients, I urge the media to withhold publication of the names on the list. First, if these people were videotaped by Alexis Wright, they are victims of a crime. Second, these people have families and jobs to protect. The collateral damage will be massive. I am guessing that these pleas may fall on deaf ears. To view Zerillo Law, LLC's website, click here. To view an article on some ideas for getting help if you are in crisis, click here.

Massive Indictment in Alexis Wright Case

I had been hearing rumors that there was going to be an indictment yesterday, and they turned out to be true. While the names on the "list" have not been published yet, some of my clients are being contacted by the police and charges are starting to be handed down. If you think you are going to be named and need legal help, feel free to give us a call or click here for more information on Zerillo Law, LLC. From the Press Herald today:

Alexis Wright indicted in Kennebunk prostitution case By Ann S. Kim akim@mainetoday.com Staff Writer ALFRED - A Zumba instructor from York County and an insurance agent from midcoast Maine have been indicted on multiple charges in connection with an alleged prostitution operation based at a dance studio in Kennebunk. click image to enlarge Alexis Wright in an April 2011 file photo. Jill Brady / Staff Photographer: Mark Strong Additional Photos Below Related headlines Newspapers fight gag order in Kennebunk prostitution case Select images available for purchase in the Maine Today Photo Store The indictments against Mark Strong Sr., 57, of Thomaston and Alexis Wright, 29, of Wells were made public late Wednesday afternoon by the York County District Attorney's Office. Strong is charged with 59 counts, including promoting prostitution, violation of privacy and conspiracy. Wright was indicted on 106 counts, including promoting prostitution and engaging in prostitution. She is also charged with theft by deception, evasion of income tax and failure to pay tax. She is the first person to be charged in the case other than Strong, who was arrested in July and charged with promotion of prostitution. Daniel Lilley, Strong's Portland-based attorney, said he has a list containing the names of more than 150 people who allegedly visited Wright at her Pura Vida Studio in Kennebunk. Lilley said Wednesday night that it would be premature to release the list to the media, but said he recognized names, including people who work for local media outlets and law enforcement, accountants and a cattle rancher. None of the people on the client list was on Wednesday's indictment list, but Justina McGettigan, a deputy district attorney in York County, said the number of people charged in the prostitution operation will probably grow. Wright started teaching Zumba classes in Kennebunk in 2009 before opening her own studio in 2010. In the summer of 2010, someone started an anonymous website filled with accusations about Wright. Police started fielding anonymous complaints about Wright in 2011. McGettigan said the promotion-of-prostitution charges against Wright date back to activity that began in October 2010. The investigation into reports of suspicious activity at Wright's dance studio began on Valentine's Day of this year, when authorities searched the studio and Wright's office, which are on York Street, and her home in Wells. According to a police affidavit, the searches yielded evidence of prostitution, including hours of footage of sexual acts, meticulous client records and a price list for various sexual acts. Investigators said they uncovered links between Wright and Strong, who in addition to being an insurance agent works as a private investigator. The affidavit indicates that Wright sent video footage of sexual encounters to Strong and asked him to check license plate numbers, and that police found video of the two having sex. The investigation became public in July when Strong was arrested. Attempts to reach Wright by email and cellphone Wednesday night were unsuccessful. Her attorney, Sarah Churchill, did not return phone calls. Lilley said he had not seen the indictment list, but he did respond to the fact that his client now faces 59 charges. "In our business, we call it overcharging for an underwhelming case," Lilley said. "It sounds totally ridiculous to me." He said that if Strong goes to trial, he will subpoena people from the client list to testify, at which point their names will be made public. Lilley said his client has been struggling to keep his business afloat because of the publicity the case has received. He indicated that it might be difficult to find an impartial jury for a trial. "It's a very strange case," Lilley said. "Now (the prosecutors) have overreacted. It looks like they have taken a shotgun approach." Assistant Attorney General William Stokes said Greg Bernstein and Darcy Mitchell, who specialize in criminal tax prosecutions and benefits fraud for the state, will prosecute Wright on the charges of not paying taxes on her income -- from prostitution -- and theft by deception. Stokes said Wright received more than $10,000 in state aid -- he said it may have been food stamps -- for which she was not eligible because of her income from prostitution. "Though it's illegal, it is still considered a source of income," Stokes said. Stokes said the state will serve as co-counsel in the case against Wright, with the York County District Attorney's Office acting as lead prosecutor. Staff Writer Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at: dhoey@pressherald.com