SALEM, Mass. (CBS) — A former newspaper sports writer from Manchester, N.H. has pleaded guilty to several prostitution charges relating to a business he was running out of an Andover hotel.

Kevin Provencher, 52, formerly a writer for the Manchester Union Leader, was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for intimidation of a witness, two years for two counts of procuring a person to practice prostitution, and a year for two counts of soliciting prostitution. All of the time will be served together.

Prosecutors said Provencher had set up a website looking for prostitutes, but indicating it was women who ran the business. Authorities say two women discovered he was running the business, he had sex with them, and then he hired them.

Their services were advertised on websites including Craigslist. Prosecutors say Provencher would run background checks on people who responded to the ads to make sure they weren’t undercover police officers and then rent a room at a hotel for the women and have them make arrangements to meet the men.

Hotel management became suspicious of him and contacted police. Provencher was arrested at his home in July, 2009. Police believe he was operating the business for about one year.

In addition to the prison time, Provencher must also serve one year probation and pay a $5,000 fine.


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