For Immediate Release - March 18, 2011

New Hampshire Man Pleads Guilty to Prostitution Charges

Kevin Provencher, 52, of Manchester, NH, pleaded guilty today in Salem Superior Court to two counts of deriving support from a prostitute, two counts of procuring a person into prostitution, two counts of solicitation for prostitution, and one count of intimidation of a witness.  

Judge Timothy Feeley sentenced Provencher, a former sportswriter for the Manchester Union Leader, to 2 ½ years in the House of Correction for intimidation of a witness, 2 years house of corrections on two counts of procuring a person to practice prostitution and 1 year house of corrections on two counts of soliciting for prostitution; all time to run concurrent with each other.  He will be on probation for 1 year upon his release on two counts of deriving support from the earnings of prostitutes.  As conditions of his probation Judge Feeley ordered the defendant to pay a $5,000 fine, have no contact with the women he solicited for prostitution, and forfeit a computer seized by the police.

Essex Assistant District Attorney Melissa Woodard told the court that if the case had gone to trial, the Commonwealth would have proved that Provencher set up a website soliciting employees for the escort service he’d established, indicating that it was run by women.  Two females responded to his ad to discover it wasn’t run by women, but was in fact run by Provencher himself.  Had sex with the women, and subsequently hired them.

Provencher advertised the womens’ services on websites such as Craig’s List, and would receive emails from prospective customers.  Provencher performed background checks on them to make sure they were not undercover police officers.  He would then rent a room at a hotel for the day, and provide the women with the names and phone numbers of their clients. 

The women would make arrangements with the customers, and at the end of the day would meet with Provencher.  They would either give him half the money they’d made, or in the alternative would deposit the money into a bank account specified by him.

Management at the Marriott Hotel in Andover became suspicious and contacted police, and investigators were able to confirm their suspicions.  Provencher was arrested at his home on July 29, 2009.  Police believe Provencher had operated the escort service for about one year.

Prosecutor Woodard praised the investigative work of Sgt. Pi Heseltine of the Massachusetts State Police and Andover Police Detective Greg Scott.  She also thanked Victim/Witness Advocate Gayle Beaudoin for helping the victims through the court process.

-30-