LEWISTON — A transient who offered his services as a pimp to an undercover police officer posing as a prostitute last fall pleaded guilty Thursday to related charges.

Martin Gerding appears Thursday at his sentencing at 8th District Court in Lewiston stemming from sex trafficking charges.

Martin Gerding, 36, formerly of Lewiston, appeared in 8th District Court, where he pleaded guilty to four felonies for violating bail conditions, plus a new charge of attempted sex trafficking, a misdemeanor.

Gerding had been scheduled for trial earlier in the week on a felony charge of aggravated sex trafficking, but his alleged victim, who was expected to testify against him, was found dead the day before the trial was to start.

Gerding had been in jail since last fall awaiting trial. That charge was dropped by prosecutors.

On Thursday, Gerding pleaded guilty to attempted sex trafficking, a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail.

Judge Tammy Ham-Thompson sentenced Gerding to the 141 days he has spent behind bars.


On the four counts of violating condition of release, each a felony punishable by up to five years in prison, Gerding was sentenced to two years in prison, with all of that time suspended except the 141 days he has been locked up awaiting trial.

He will be on probation for the next two years, during which he may not have any alcohol or illegal drugs and their derivatives. He can be searched and tested for them at random.

Police wrote in an affidavit Gerding had boasted to an undercover police officer posing as a prostitute in downtown Lewiston in September 2018 he provided protection for some of the prostitutes in the area. He said he had two “girls” working the streets. He said he was not afraid to get physical with some or “put a gun in someone,” according to the affidavit.

He provided tips to the undercover officer how to work the “johns,” and how to avoid going to jail, police said. The conversation was recorded on the officer’s cellphone.

In an effort to crack down on human and sex trafficking, police had been conducting a sting operation targeting customers who engaged prostitutes.

The 38-year-old woman who was expected to testify against Gerding this week was reported dead in Oxford County on Monday.

Prosecutors said Gerding had tried to call that woman’s cellphone from the Androscoggin County Jail in Auburn, where he was held awaiting trial. His efforts to reach her cellphone violated terms of his bail.

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