CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Suffolk County authorities say a Sound Beach man ran a human trafficking and prostitution ring out of his parents’ basement, even keeping some women locked inside the home.
Handcuffed and in a green jail suit, 47-year-old Raymond Rodio III appeared in court where he was charged with eight counts of sex trafficking and six counts of promoting prostitution, reports CBS New York’s Scott Rapoport.
He allegedly ran the sex rang out the basement of his parents’ seemingly idyllic home on lower Rocky Road in Sound Beach.
“This is a dangerous and depraved individual,” said Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini. “He kept women locked up in the basement of his parents house. He used the basement of his parents’ home as a dungeon.”
In court, Rodio shook his head as in disbelief as prosecutors outlined the charges against him.
Prosecutors allege Rodio used social media to recruit 20 women to have sex for money with clients between 2014 and February 2019.
They say he lured the women with money and drugs like heroin and cocaine, to get them addicted keep them working for him.
“Rodio would intimidate and threaten them, either with physical violence or by threatening them with physical violence or by threatening to withhold drugs from them which would result in them suffering from bad withdrawal,” Sini said.
Prosecutors describe the conditions in the basement as disgusting, and the treatment of the women as deplorable.
“Some of the victims were forced to stay in the basement for long periods of time where there was no shower, no bathroom. They were forced to use a bucket as a toilet,” Sini said.
Rodio’s father took Rapoport down inside the basement where his son lived. Rapoport described it as unremarkable, containing a bed, blanket, shelves and framed pictures on the walls.
“I don’t know what’s going on. He has a drug problem, and that was the drug problem, that’s all,” Raymond Rodio told Rapoport.
Raymond Rodio said his son attended West Point for a year and a half but had his demons. He says he had no clue about the alleged sex ring.
“Prostitution? No,” he said.
Neighbors in the area told Rapoport they saw people coming and going from the house but didn’t think anything of it and are repulsed by the news.
“If it’s true it’s extremely disgusting,” one neighbor said.
Rodio pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. He is being held on $2 million bail.
If convicted on the top charges, he could face 25 years in prison.