PORTSMOUTH, NEW HAMPSHIRE – A former Amesbury police officer was one of three men arrested in a prostitution sting over the weekend, police say.
Mark Valli, 51, of Newburyport was arrested Saturday night when Portsmouth police say he arrived at a local hotel expecting to pay a prostitute for sex. Instead, he and two other men were arrested.
Valli was an officer in Amesbury from the early 1990s to 2004. Amesbury police Chief Mark Gagnon wouldn’t say why Valli left the department, the Portsmouth Herald reported.
Also arrested Saturday was 47-year-old John Thibault of Greenland, N.H., and 33-year-old Jacob Stellar of Strafford, N.H.
The three were all charged with misdemeanor offenses relating to the solicitation of a prostitute. They each face fines of up to $1,200.
In 2003, Valli was one of three Amesbury officers who won the state’s prestigious George L. Hanna Award for bravery, for their response to a deadly domestic incident. On March 26, 2002, Valli and officers David Noyes and Matthew Cunningham responded to an apartment at 7 Green St., where Dorothy Giunta-Cotter, who lived there with her daughters, was being held at gunpoint by her husband. Her husband shot and killed her, then later shot and killed himself.