A Biddeford man pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Portland to one count of conspiracy to commit the sex trafficking of a minor.
By pleading guilty, Isaac “Henny” Suero, 22, admitted that, in April 2017, he convinced a 15-year-old girl he had met online to work as a prostitute in Bangor and Scarborough, according to court documents.
Suero paid for motel rooms, ads on Backpage.com and took a third of the money she earned, according to the prosecution version of events to which he pleaded guilty. The girl kept two-thirds of the payments.
A sentencing date has not been set.
Suero remains free on $10,000 unsecured bail.
He was indicted by a federal grand jury in late July on one count each of conspiracy to commit the sex trafficking of a minor and sex trafficking of a minor. In early August, he pleaded not guilty. The sex trafficking charge will be dismissed at sentencing, according to his plea agreement with the U.S. attorney’s office.
Suero’s mother, Lourdes “Lulu” or “Lourdes Lora” Suero, 45, of Biddeford, also was indicted on the sex trafficking conspiracy charge. She has pleaded not guilty and is free on $10,000 unsecured bail.
Her trial has been set tentatively for March in Portland.
Each Suero faces up to life in prison on the conspiracy charge and fines of up to $250,000.
Under Suero’s plea agreement with the U.S. attorney’s office, the federal prosecutor will recommend a sentence of 10 years and the federal defender will urge the judge to send Suero to prison for just under six years.
The U.S. attorney’s office and the federal defender’s office declined to comment on Suero’s plea. It is the practice of both offices not to comment on pending cases.
Former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Session and Halsey Frank, U.S. attorney for the district of Maine, last year made the prosecution of sex trafficking crimes a priority.
“Our local priorities include domestic violence and guns, human trafficking, and elder fraud,” Frank said in January 2018. “We will work with our federal, state, local and tribal partners to focus on those who pose the greatest threat to the people and communities that we serve.”
If you or someone you know needs resources or support related to sexual violence, contact the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault’s 24/7 hotline at 1-800-871-7741.