New York (CNN)For years, authorities say, a man lured women with drug addictions into a sex trafficking ring he ran out of his parents' Long Island basement, allegedly keeping them locked up and forcing them to perform sex acts with others in exchange for money and drugs.
A man allegedly ran a sex trafficking ring out of his parents' basement
That man, Raymond Rodio III, 47, was indicted by a grand jury on April 17 on eight counts of sex trafficking and six counts of promoting prostitution. He was arraigned Thursday, pleaded not guilty and is being held on $1 million cash bail, according to Suffolk County District Attorney Tim Sini.
The Legal Aid Society of Suffolk County, which is representing Rodio, had no comment when contacted by CNN. Rodio faces a maximum of 25 years in prison if he is convicted.
Rodio mainly targeted vulnerable women in their 20s who were addicted to drugs, Sini said. The ring allegedly ran between December 2014 and February 2019, and Sini said about 20 women were victims.
Sini said Rodio would initially provide the women with drugs like heroin and crack cocaine for free. "He would then hold their addictions, their diseases, over their heads to force them to work with him," Sini said. "He would initially supply many of these women with drugs for free so that they would develop a dependency on him. After he set up prostitution dates for his victims, he would provide them with heroin or crack cocaine in order to impair their judgment."
Once inside Rodio's family home, Sini said victims were not allowed to go anywhere except the basement, which had a lock on the door and no bathroom. Victims were forced to use a bucket to relieve themselves.
"He used the basement of his parents' home as a dungeon," Sini said.
Authorities allege that Rodio advertised for prostitution services by the women on websites like Backpage and Craigslist, and that he would keep a large percentage, if not all, of the money the women earned.
Sini said that Rodio, too, frequently used crack cocaine, and would sometimes drive them to meetings at nearby hotels himself.
If the women refused a "prostitution date," Rodio would allegedly threaten them with physical violence or by threatening to withhold drugs from them, "which would result in them suffering from the withdrawal," Sini said.