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Living in your parents basement can be awkward. Using that basement as a sex dungeon can be, well, more awkward … and criminal.
Prosecutors say that's exactly what Raymond Rodio III did for years, forcing more than 20 victims to have sex with men for money in the basement of his parent's Long Island, New York home, then pocketing most of the cash.
Rodio III, 47, of Sound Beach, pleaded not guilty at Suffolk County court in Central Islip on Thursday to 14 counts of sex trafficking and promoting prostitution.
He’s accused of using heroin and crack cocaine to lure victims into the alleged sex trafficking ring, Newsday reports.
"The defendant would recruit women in various ways,” Suffolk District Attorney Timothy Sini said Thursday at a news conference. “He would often provide them drugs. He would then hold their addictions, their diseases over their heads to force them to continue to work for him.”
“If the victims refused a prostitution date, Rodio would intimidate them or threaten them, either with physical violence or by threatening to withhold drugs from them, which would force them to suffer from withdrawal,” Sini said.
After the women received payment for sex work, Sini said Rodio would “either take a large percentage of their money they made or take all of their money either for his own personal benefit or to buy drugs either for the women or himself.” Sini said that Rodio had a crack cocaine habit.
Some of the sex work was performed at motels, but much of it took place in Rodio's basement setup, prosecutors said, describing the horrid condition there.
Sini said the women weren’t allowed to go anywhere but 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.”
The district attorney said that the basement had a bed located near a leopard print wall decoration and surrounded by shelves full of lotions and chocolate syrup, according to the New York Daily News. There were also family portraits, and even a prayer card of Jesus, up on the wall.
The court ordered Rodio be held on $1 million bail or $2 million bond. The Legal Aid Society of Suffolk County, which represented Rodio in court, has declined to make any comments. Rodio’s father told Newsday that as far as he knows, there was no sex dungeon in the house. He admitted knowing about his son's alleged drug habit. He let reporters see the basement.
"He said he's not guilty," Raymond Rodio Sr. said.
Rodio is due back in court on May 21. He faces up to 25 years in prison.
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