A Long Island man convicted of running a sex trafficking ring out of his elderly parents’ sprawling suburban home was sentenced Tuesday to 9½ years in prison and must register as a sex offender and spend five years under court supervision thereafter.
Raymond Rodio III, 49, recruited women through social media, got them hooked on heroin or 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.
Rodio operated the ring for about four years, victimized more than 20 women and forced some to use a bucket instead of a toilet when they needed a bathroom, according to the district attorney.
Rodio was arrested in April 2019 and pleaded guilty in February to charges including sex trafficking, promoting prostitution and criminal sale of a controlled substance.
However on Tuesday he tried to backtrack.
‘Allow me to take back my plea,’ Rodio urged the judge. ‘This whole case is a disgrace to the cause of justice. This is a travesty of justice, that is what this is.’
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Raymond Rodio III was sentenced Tuesday to 9½ years in prison and thereafter he must register as a sex offender and spend 5 years under court supervision (pictured at his arraignment in April 2019)
Rodio used the cellar as a makeshift sex dungeon (pictured) between December 2014 and February of last year. Rodio victimized more than 20 women and forced some to use a bucket instead of a toilet
Prosecutors said Rodio’s parents, both aged 74, likely were not aware of what was going on in their home on Lower Rocky Point Road in Sound Beach (pictured)
Rodio called it ‘absolutely ridiculous,’ and ‘based on statements of people with no credibility.’
The prosecutor said he deserves every second of the sentence he got.
‘This defendant had a sex dungeon in his parents’ home and forced women into sex slavery,’ Sini said.
‘He got them addicted to drugs, he used their addiction to control them. He took their money to pay for their drugs. And he pled guilty. He pled guilty in February because the evidence was overwhelming.’
Sini added: ‘This case sends a clear message to those who are trafficking women and girls in this county: We will not stand for it.’
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 were not charged with a crime.
On Tuesday the mother of one victims, 20-year-old Danielle Saunders who died of an overdose last year, attended court in Riverside.
She called Rodio a monster and spoke about how he branded his victims with cigarette butts.
‘She got caught up. Caught up and made promises and hooked on drugs and she’s gone. She can’t come back from this,’ Stacie Saunders told CBS 2. ‘She was a beautiful person. She didn’t deserve this.’
Saunders wore a T-shirt with her daughter’s image on it.
‘My daughter passed away two months before he was finally arrested,’ Saunders added. ‘He is a disgusting person. He doesn’t own up to what he has done and he deserves a lot longer than he got.’
Her daughter Tiffany called Danielle a ‘beautiful soul.’
Police say he kept the women’s earnings for himself and used them to buy crack cocaine for himself. Pictured is his parents’ basement in Sound Beach, New York (pictured)
Rodio pleaded guilty in February but on Tuesday he tried to backtrack calling the case a ‘travesty of justice,’ ‘absolutely ridiculous,’ and ‘based on statements of people with no credibility’
On Tuesday the mother of one victims, 20-year-old Danielle Saunders who died of an overdose last year, attended court in Riverside. ‘My daughter passed away two months before he was finally arrested,’ Stacie Saunders said
According to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, in August 2018, police pulled over Rodio during a routine traffic stop and discovered a suspected victim of human trafficking in his car.
A subsequent investigation uncovered that the woman had been forced into prostitution by Rodio in the spring of 2018.
Further investigation by the Suffolk Police Human Trafficking Investigations Unit and the District Attorney’s Office’s Human Trafficking Team revealed that Rodio was trafficking women out of the basement of his parents’ home on Lower Rocky Point Road in Sound Beach since December 2014.
Suffolk County District Attorney Tim Sini said Rodio used social media to lure some 22 women in their 20s, got them addicted to heroin and crack cocaine by initially offering them the drugs free of charge, and then forced them to have sex for money.
Rodio III, who has a son and a daughter of his own, in November 2015 appeared on Suffolk County’s Non-Paying Parents List
If the women refused to comply, Rodio withheld drugs from them, or threatened them with violence.
According to prosecutors, Rodio also plied the women with drugs to impair their judgement.
Acting as the women’s pimp, Rodio advertised their services on websites like Backpage.com and Craigslist.com, kept much or all of the women’s earnings for himself, and used the money to support his own crack cocaine habit.
According to officials, the women were locked for extended periods of time in Rodio’s makeshift sex dungeon in the basement, which did not have a shower or a toilet.
None of the women that Rodio had preyed on were arrested in connection to the prostitution case, but they will be receiving counseling.
Video shot by News 12 Long Island inside the cellar showed a bed covered with a colorful duvet, several leather cushions and decorative animal skins hanging on the wall.
‘The door to the basement has an exterior lock to which Rodio had the only key,’ a press release from the district attorney’s office stated. ‘In addition to the house, Rodio also allegedly forced the victims to perform prostitution at various motels throughout Suffolk County.’
Rodio’s mother, Nancy Rodio, earlier denied that her son had used her basement as a brothel.
‘There was nothing going on in my house,’ she said.
Rodio’s father, Raymond Rodio Jr, said his son has battled drug addiction for many years. The elder Rodio said he tried to get his son help, but his efforts failed.
Rodio III has a son and a daughter of his own. In November 2015, his name appeared on Suffolk County’s Non-Paying Parents List, revealing that he owed more than $50,000 in child support payments.
Rodio’s father, Raymond Rodio Jr (left), said his son has battled drug addiction for many years. Rodio’s parents may have known ‘something untoward’ was going on, but not necessarily that their son was running a prostitution ring, the DA said
DA Tim Sini added: ‘This case sends a clear message to those who are trafficking women and girls in this county: We will not stand for it’