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December 2012 Archives

Email and Christmas Greetings From Kuwait - Best Defense Lawyer in Maine

Love the email just received from my Client in Kuwait and the picture he sent! Stay safe guys and God Bless - home soon and safe. He emailed me with the attached pic:

Happy Holidays! Thanks again for being the best defense lawyer in Maine! You have given back to the Department Of Defense, in my opinion, a valuable asset. 10 well trained troops in fiscal year 2012 towards Operation Enduring Freedom. I salute you for your service Mr. Zerillo.

First Men in Maine Zumba Prostitution Case Arraigned - Tim Zerillo Interviewed

First Men in Maine Zumba Prostitution Case Arraigned

First Men in Maine Zumba Prostitution Case Arraigned
12/05/2012 Reported By: Patty B. Wight
The first round of alleged clients of a Kennebunk prostitution business have officially entered pleas in Biddeford District Court. Only three made an appearance today -- the rest entered pleas by mail. So far nine of the defendants are requesting jury trials. But as Patty Wight reports, if the trend continues the cases have the potential to clog the York County courts.
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First Men in Maine Zumba Prostitution Case ArraignListen
Biddeford district court
The scene outside Biddeford District Court today as three men entered pleas in the Kennebunk Zumba prostitution case.
Aside from the media and the alleged "johns," there was one other person who showed up at Biddeford District Court: "My name is Sara Moon."Moon stood outside the courthouse holding a bright pink poster that said in black letters, "Decriminalize Sex.""Because I feel like that we need to decriminalize the body and legalize sex," Moon says. "I don't think this should be newsworthy. I don't think anybody should be getting fined or going to jail for having sex. I think what I do with my body and what they do with their bodies, whatever that is for money, that's fine with me and it shouldn't be illegal."But it is illegal. And so, inside the court, the defendants were called one by one to enter their pleas. One man hung his head while pleading guilty. The second pleaded guilty after consulting with a court lawyer. And the third pleaded "nolo," which the court interprets as a guilty plea without the defendant admitting guilt or innocence. Afterward, the man - who declined to go on tape - said he just wanted to put this all behind him for the sake of his daughter. But 18 others facing charges are preparing for more of a fight. They have entered "not guilty" pleas. "And one of the reasons for that is because we want to preserve our clients' right to jury trial," says Tim Zerillo, who represents three clients in the Kennebunk prostitution case. Zerillo says this is typical in misdemeanor cases because it's often impossible to know early in the game - when lawyers don't have all the evidence in hand - what will be best for clients. The question remains how many other defendants will make the same request, and what effect it will have on the courts. Attorney Steven Schwartz, who is representing nine people in the case, says it could be significant. "You know, if dozens of people are all of a sudden on a jury trial list, I think it would take months and months, and well more than a year, it seems to me, before all of the cases were able to be tried," Schwartz says. "So in that regard, I think there is a risk that it could clog up the system."Schwartz and other attorneys say clogging the system is not their intent. It's ultimately up to their clients whether to go with a jury trial. It's a personal decision, says attorney Tim Zerillo, and he thinks it's unlikely many will choose that route because of the attention it would generate. "This is somewhere in the realm between a drunk driving charge and a speeding ticket, is where engaging a prostitute falls," Zerillo says. "These guys are being punished by virtue of their names being in the paper and in the news, much more than what would normally be punished for this type of case."Even if cases don't go to jury, the courts will be busy dealing with various motions attorneys may file on behalf of their clients. Attorney Steven Schwartz says at this point, everything is on the table for how these cases will proceed."I've heard that most of the York County judges have recused themselves, based on their proximity to the cases geographically, if nothing else," Schwatz says. "So there are lots of different possibilities with respect to the disposition of what I believe will amount to dozens and dozens of cases that are going to be coming up to Superior Court."The next court date for those charged in the prostitution case is December 19th. Photo by Patty Wight.

Accused Kennebunk 'johns' to appear in court Wednesday - From the Press Herald - Attorney Zerillo Noted

Accused Kennebunk 'johns' to appear in court Wednesday Just three of the 21 men who were summonsed for arraignment are expected to attend. By Scott Dolan sdolan@mainetoday.com Staff Writer BIDDEFORD – Court workers are bracing for a wave of media attention Wednesday, with the first defendants in the high-profile Kennebunk prostitution case scheduled for arraignment. But only three of the 21 men are expected to appear. By Tuesday, lawyers for 18 of the men who were summoned to appear in Biddeford District Court to face one count each of engaging a prostitute had filed not-guilty pleas for their clients, who will not have to appear in court Wednesday. The 21 men, whose names were released Oct. 16, were the first group charged in the investigation of Alexis Wright of Wells, the former Zumba instructor who allegedly ran a prostitution operation from her studio in Kennebunk. The Kennebunk Police Department has since released the names of dozens more men on its biweekly crime blotter. Lawyers for nine of the 18 men who pleaded not guilty have requested jury trials in York County Superior Court. The cases against the other nine remain in District Court for now. Their lawyers have 21 days from Wednesday to file motions. Those men are still technically scheduled for arraignment Wednesday, but they do not need to appear because their attorneys have formally acknowledged the charges and entered pleas. The court files for the three men show no entries by attorneys. A total of 62 men have been charged with engaging a prostitute in the case, which has drawn international media attention and made news with each release of names. At least four men pleaded guilty before police issued criminal complaints against them, so they avoided being named in the police blotters. Authorities have said Wright kept detailed records of more than 150 clients, including some prominent figures. Police began investigating her after getting complaints from neighbors that many men were seen coming and going from Wright's business for short visits. *******'s attorney, Timothy Zerillo, filed a not-guilty plea on his client's behalf in October and said he received notice this week that the case has been transferred to Superior Court for a jury trial. Staff Writer Scott Dolan can be contacted at 791-6304 or at: sdolan@mainetoday.com For more on Zerillo Law, LLC, click here.