Veteran prosecutor Kent Morgan was fired in March by Miller for allegedly leaking confidential information to Maese about his pending criminal case.
In April, state House candidate Kelly Ann Booth broke off her engagement to Maese and dropped from the race after learning Maese had owned The Doll House escort service.
But on Thursday, a 3rd District Court jury was focused solely on the issue of whether Maese used the escort service as a cover for a prostitution ring.
Maese, 31, is charged with four counts of exploitation of prostitution, third-degree felonies punishable by up to five years in prison.
He is also charged with engaging in a pattern of unlawful activity and money laundering, second-degree felonies punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
Former Doll House escorts are expected to testify that between July 2004 and April 2006, they were encouraged by Maese to have sex with customers, and that they paid a portion of their earnings to Maese and co-defendant Tiffany French Curtis.
Curtis, who earlier this year pleaded guilty to reduced misdemeanor charges, is also slated to testify against Maese.
In a separate case, Maese is charged with third-degree felony witness tampering and stalking for allegedly following Curtis around the Salt Lake Valley in April, and on one day swerved his car in front of her vehicle three times on Interstate 15.
During opening statements, prosecutor Michael Colby called Curtis "The Doll House madam" and said Maese was the "pimp."
But defense attorney Gilbert Athay told jurors that while Doll House escorts performed "sex acts of all kinds ... they did it of their own choice."
He said The Doll House had a policy and procedures manual that prohibited sex acts and allowed the girls only to dance and do specific touching such as backrubs.
Athay also emphasized that all the women who would be testifying against Maese "worked as prostitutes."
He also said that almost all would testify about deals made by law enforcement and prosecutors to get them to testify. Most were getting their charges dismissed or had received pleas in abeyance, Athay said.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Article Last Updated: 07/10/2008 03:41:28 PM MDT
Posted: 2:59 PM- Steven Santiago Maese has grabbed headlines recently for hiring a private investigator to dig up dirt on Salt Lake County District Attorney Lohra Miller.