A 47-year-old Long Island man has been arrested for allegedly running a sex trafficking ring out of his parents’ basement.
Raymond Rodio III, a resident of the Brookhaven hamlet of Sound Beach, allegedly trafficked nearly two dozen women in the past five years, holding some by force in the basement of a Lower Rocky Point Road home without a shower or bathroom, prosecutors allege.
Suffolk County District Attorney Tim Sini said that Rodio would set up dates with men in the basement or in area motels. He allegedly also kept the women’s money and gave them heroin and other drugs instead.
"This creates a vicious cycle that is extremely difficult for victims to break," Sini said. "That is precisely why my office and the Suffolk County Police Department have shifted the paradigm in how we deal with these cases. We treat the women as victims, because they are."
According to officials, Rodio allegedly took men and women through the garage of his parents’ home and directly into the basement. Reports said that the alleged illicit activities were unbeknownst to his parents who lived upstairs.
Rodio’s father, Raymond Rodio, Jr., told ABC7 that he “knew something was going on,” and that he’s tried to get him into drug programs in the past.
Investigators said that the Suffolk County Police Department identified a victim of human trafficking in August last year during a routine traffic stop. An investigation by the department’s Human Trafficking Investigations Unit found evidence that the woman had allegedly been forced into sex work by Rodio.
Further investigation found more than 20 more victims of Rodio’s alleged operation, which he promoted with advertisements on Backpage and Craigslist.
Rodio was charged with seven counts of sex trafficking, one count of sex trafficking as a violent felony, one count of second-degree promoting prostitution, one count of third-degree promoting prostitution, and four counts of fourth-degree promoting prostitution. Bail was set at $1 million cash or $2 million bond and Rodio is scheduled to appear in court in May to respond to the charges.
"This is a dangerous and depraved individual," Sini said. "He kept women locked up in the basement of his parents' house, using the basement as a dungeon. He preyed on women using their vulnerabilities and their drug dependencies to maintain his control over them. With this indictment, we are putting an end to his criminal operation and his victimization of over 20 women."
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