Edward T. Gignoux United States Courthouse (Federal Court). Credit: Troy R. Bennett | BDN

A Biddeford man was sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court in Portland to nine years in prison for conspiring to commit the sex trafficking of a minor, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

Isaac “Henny” Suero, 23, pleaded guilty to the crime in January.

In April 2017, Suero 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.

His mother, Lourdes “Lulu” Suero, 46, of Biddeford, also was indicted on the sex trafficking conspiracy charge. She pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of use of a facility in interstate commerce with the intent to promote unlawful activity. The conspiracy charge will be dismissed at her sentencing.

Lourdes Suero on April 22, 2017, rented a room at a Scarborough motel that the teenage victim used for prostitution activities, according to court documents. The mother also communicated by text messages with the girl.

She is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 16 in Portland and is expected to be sentenced to less than a year in prison, according to court documents.

Under the federal recommended federal sentencing guidelines, Isaac Suero faced between 6 ½ and 10 years in prison.

In addition to prison time, U.S. District Judge Nancy Torresen sentenced Isaac Suero to five years of supervised release. The judge also ordered him to pay $750 in restitution to the victim.

Former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions 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.