Editor’s Note: The headline for this story was updated on Feb. 16, 2015 to accurately reflect that Tamika Dias pleaded guilty to misdemeanor sex trafficking.
PORTLAND, Maine — A Gorham woman who — with two men — was charged with holding a 19-year-old woman against her will and forcing her into prostitution will serve eight months in jail as part of a plea agreement.
Tamika Dias, 34, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Cumberland County Unified Court to two counts of misdemeanor sex trafficking, or promotion of prostitution. Justice Roland A. Cole sentenced Dias to 364 days in jail, with all but eight months suspended and one year probation for each count.
Felony charges of aggravated sex trafficking, or compelling someone into prostitution, were dismissed.
Gorham police said in March that Dias, Klein Fernandes and Jeremy Seeley held the woman at their Woodland Road home and forced her to have sex for money with about 15 men and one woman.
Fernandes, 27, and Seeley, 31, drove her to “dates,” after which she gave them money she allegedly received as payment for sex. The woman told Fernandes she wanted to stop and offered to get “a real job,” but he told her she had no choice, according to the affidavit.
The teen said Fernandes told her he was going to sell her to a Boston “pimp” for $30,000.
Police said at the time that Dias admitted taking photos and paying for and posting ads on Backpage.com, knowing they were for prostitution.
Fernandes pleaded guilty to felony aggravated assault for assaulting the woman with a knife, and to two misdemeanor counts of sex trafficking, or promoting prostitution. He was sentenced in June to five years in prison for aggravated assault, and 364 days in prison for each of the misdemeanor sex trafficking charges, all to be served concurrently.
Seeley pleaded guilty to two counts of misdemeanor sex trafficking. He is scheduled for sentencing on July 31.
In separate cases, Dias pleaded guilty and was sentenced Tuesday to three-and-a-half months for misdemeanor misuse of a public benefit instrument — an EBT card — and theft by deception; and three months for multiple counts of theft of credit card numbers.
All of Dias’ sentences will be served concurrently, Assistant District Attorney Meg Elam said.
To reach a sexual assault advocate, call the Statewide Sexual Assault Crisis and Support Line at 800-871-7741, TTY 888-458-5599. This free and confidential 24-hour service is accessible from anywhere in Maine. Calls are automatically routed to the closest sexual violence service provider.