(NEW YORK POST) — A Long Island man was busted running a sex “dungeon” in his parents’ house — where he plied more than 20 drug-addled women with narcotics and then forced them to turn tricks, officials announced Thursday.
Raymond Rodio III pleaded not guilty during a Thursday court appearance where he was held on $1 million bail or $2 million bond for eight counts of sex trafficking — and several more for promoting prostitution since as early as 2014, Suffolk County District Attorney Tim Sini said.
“He used the basement of his parents’ home as a dungeon,” Sini said. “While these women were in the house, they were not allowed to go anywhere except for the basement, which was outfitted with a lock on the door.”
“Some of the victims were forced to stay in the basement for long periods of time, where there’s no shower, no bathrooms — they were forced to use a bucket as a toilet,” he added.
Rodio brought the women and his clients into the basement through a “typical, unfinished” garage, Sini said. “It’s disgusting.”
Stairs into the window-less basement led to a room split in two by a hanging sheet.
In one of the makeshift rooms there was a bed covered with a leopard-print comforter, along with shelves that held bottles of lotion, suspected sex toys and a single bottle of chocolate syrup, Sini said.
“There was also, seemingly family portraits on the wall and, from my view of one photograph… a pin-up board and it looks like a prayer card with Jesus on it,” he continued. “I thought that was particularly ironic.”
The second half of the basement contained a washing machine and a dryer, as well as the bucket that the women had no choice but to use.
“That’s often where the defendant would hide when women were having sex with customers,” he added.
Sini said Rodio’s parents live in the home and were not immediately charged with any crimes, but noted that “there’s some indication they they’re aware something untoward was going on.”
Police first became suspicious of Rodio in August 2018 when officers pulled the 47-year-old over during a routine car stop and noticed something was awry.
“Those officers, based on their training, recognized that a passenger in that car appeared to be a victim of human trafficking,” Sini said during a press conference. An investigation “determined that the victim had, in fact, been forced into sex trafficking by this defendant.”
Rodio recruited his victims — largely Suffolk County women in their 20s — from social media or through other methods, Sini said. He would give them drugs, often for free, “so that they would develop a dependency on him” and then trick out the women, investigators said.
“He would then hold their addictions — their diseases — over their heads to force them to continue to work for him,” he continued. “After he set up prostitution dates for his victims, he would provide them with heroin or crack cocaine in order to impair their judgment.”
He would advertise the women on Backpage.com and Craigslist.org, then take most or all of the money they made, Sini said.
Rodio, who is also addicted to crack cocaine, has been behind bars since March, when he was indicted for criminal sale of a controlled substance, according to police. He is due back in court on May 21.
In July of 2018, Suffolk County officials announced the creation of the Suffolk County Police Department’s Human Trafficking Investigation Unit — the first-of-its-kind on Long Island.