NEW YORK — A Long Island man ran a prostitution ring out of his parents' sprawling suburban home, enticing women with drugs and locking them in the basement where they were forced to use a bucket instead of a bathroom, prosecutors said Thursday.
Raymond Rodio III, 47, used social media to recruit women, got them hooked on heroin and crack cocaine, and forced them to have sex with men in the basement of the Sound Beach home or at nearby motels, Suffolk County District Attorney Tim Sini said.
"This is a dangerous and depraved individual," Sini told reporters after Rodio's arraignment. "He kept women locked up in the basement of his parents' house. He used the basement of his parents' home as a dungeon."
The ring operated for about four years and involved more than 20 women, Sini said. Rodio's parents may have known something "untoward" was going on, but not necessarily that their son was running a prostitution ring, Sini said. They are not charged with a crime.
Rodio pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking, promoting prostitution and other charges. He remains jailed because he hasn't posted $1 million cash bail or $2 million bond.
A message seeking comment was left with his lawyer.
Police uncovered the alleged prostitution ring after a routine traffic stop last August. Officers recognized that a passenger in the car appeared to be a victim of human trafficking, Sini said.
In recruiting women, Sini said, Rodio would initially supply them with drugs for free so they would be dependent on him. Then, after setting them up with clients, he'd give them heroin or crack to impair their judgment, Sini said.
Sini didn't say how long Rodio would keep the women in the basement.
Rodio would use the money the clients paid to buy the women more drugs and underwrite his own crack habit, Sini said. The flow of drugs made the women indebted to Rodio, Sini said, and the only way they could repay it was by performing sex acts.
"This is a common tactic used by traffickers. They essentially force their victims to become addicted to drugs, then use that addiction — that illness — to keep victims under their control," Sini said.