MANCHESTER, New Hampshire – A veteran newspaper sports reporter was charged Wednesday with running a prostitution ring in New Hampshire and Massachusetts and possibly into Canada.
Kevin Provencher advertised his prostitution ring’s services on Craigslist and other Web sites and rented hotel rooms in Andover, Massachusetts, and in New Hampshire where the women would have sex for money, prosecutors said. The ring may have operated in Canada, they said.
Provencher, a sports writer at the New Hampshire Union Leader for more than two decades, was arrested at his Manchester home early Wednesday and was taken to Massachusetts, where he was ordered held on $10,000 cash bail during his arraignment in Lawrence District Court. He pleaded not guilty to two counts of deriving support from prostitution.
Provencher, 50, has been suspended from the Union Leader, where he has been its primary motor sports reporter since 1990. He also has been the newspaper’s beat reporter covering the Manchester Monarchs since the American Hockey League franchise’s 2001 inception.
The newspaper’s management issued a statement calling Provencher “a valued employee for many years.”
“He is innocent until proven guilty,” it said. “However, given the nature and seriousness of the charges, he is suspended until further notice.”
Provencher’s lawyer, Jessica Thrall, did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment Wednesday.