PORTSMOUTH — An Exeter psychologist who claims he joined the profession to “help people heal” has turned himself in to police after being accused of using his Portsmouth apartment for prostitution.
Alexander Marino, 38, of 565, No. 4 Sagamore Ave., surrendered Tuesday after police announced Saturday that a warrant had been issued for his arrest in connection with a prostitution ring.
Marino faces one count of prostitution alleging that he “knowingly permitted” his apartment to be used for prostitution. He is also charged with marijuana possession.
Portsmouth police said the alleged prostitution ring may extend into the Manchester and Portland, Maine, areas and involves the use of a website called www.backpage.com for advertising of services.
Marino is a licensed clinical psychologist who has an office in the Sacred Oak Healing Center at 24 Front St., Exeter.
On his website, Marino said he became a psychologist because he wanted to “help people heal.”
The investigation began after police received complaints about possible prostitution activity at the Sagamore Avenue apartment. Police said they were told that several women were seen bringing men from the pool area of the apartment complex. Men were also reportedly seen arriving in taxi cabs to be escorted into Marino's apartment for short periods of time, police said.
While keeping a watch on the area on the night of Aug. 2, detectives discovered evidence pointing to possible drug use.
Police canvassed the area and found a man climbing out of Marino's window, police said. The man took off while holding an “open condom,” police said, but he was detained by officers.
In addition to Marino, police also arrested Brooke Parent, 21, of Manchester, on one count of prostitution. She was released on personal recognizance bail.
Jim Para, 22, of Kittery, Maine, was also charged with one count of prostitution.
Marino is being held on $1,000 cash and $15,000 personal recognizance bail. According to police Capt. Corey MacDonald, Marino will be arraigned Wednesday morning if he doesn't make bail.
Marino opened his Exeter office in March. His website says he is experienced in providing counseling to individuals, couples and families, including treatment of adolescents and children.
“While I work with people suffering from many disorders, I specialize in post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, panic disorder and insomnia,” he said on his website.
In April, Marino was interviewed by the New Hampshire Union Leader after the deadly police shooting in Greenland. Marino, who used to live in Greenland, shared advice on how the community should try to cope after the death of Police Chief Michael Maloney.
“Unfortunately every now and again trauma befalls us and unfortunately it just befell us in a very personal, local way,” he told the paper at the time.