GORHAM, Maine -The Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office says three people from Gorham have been arrested on sex trafficking charges.
Klein Fernandes, 27, Tamika Dias, 34, and Jeremy Seeley, 32, are accused of exploiting a 19-year-old woman and requiring her to engage in commercial sex acts.
The District Attorney’s Office said the victim was posted on the website Backpage.com by Dias and taken to several locations in Cumberland, York and Androscoggin counties by Fernandes and Seeley to engage sex acts with strangers.
Investigators said the victim fled from the defendants when she was told that she might be sold to a “pimp” from Boston.
Police said they were notified of the alleged activity with the help of the Preble Street Teen Center in Portland.
Police searched the home Fernandes, Dias and Seeley shared on Woodland Road in Gorham on Friday. The DA’s office said all three admitted to exploiting the woman for money.
Neighbors said they are not surprised to hear what was happening inside the home.
“I’m surprised to hear it about the neighborhood, but I’m actually not surprised to hear it about this house to be honest with you,” said Aaron Erickson, who lives nearby.
Dias and Fernandes were each charged with two counts of aggravated sex trafficking.
Seeley was charged with two counts of sex trafficking.
All three are due in court on Wednesday.
The manager of the Preble Street Anti-Trafficking Coalition said sex trafficking is becoming more common in the state.
“People need to learn about this. People need to understand this issue because like I said before this is happening right here to our young children, our young people, especially those who are most vulnerable,” said Daniella Cameron, manager of the Preble Street Anti-Trafficking Coalition.
Court documents said all three suspects admitted to different parts of the crimes, including taking the victim to various john’s houses and accepting money.
The victim did tell police that she was a previous drug user, including heroin, and said she has been sex trafficked before.
The Gorham Police Department, South Portland Police Department, FBI, Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office and the Maine Attorney General’s Office participated in the investigation.