SOUND BEACH, N.Y. (WPIX/AP) -- A Long Island man convicted of running a sex-trafficking ring out of his elderly parents' suburban house was sentenced to nine and a half years in prison on Tuesday.
Raymond Rodio III, 49, was arrested in April 2019 and pleaded guilty in February to charges including sex trafficking and promoting prostitution. He was sentenced Tuesday.
After completing his prison sentence, Rodio must register as a sex offender and spend five years under court supervision.
In August 2018, the Suffolk County Police Department identified a suspected victim of human trafficking during a routine traffic stop. Investigators discovered Rodio had been conducting a human-trafficking operation out of the basement of his parents' residence on Lower Rocky Point Rd. in Sound Beach, since as early as 2014. The investigation identified more than 20 victims of Rodio's sex-trafficking operation, the Suffolk County D.A.'s Office said.
Rodio posted advertisements on websites, including Backpage and Craigslist, promoting prostitution by the victims and would keep either a large percentage or all of the profits of their prostitution.
Rodio sometimes kept victims locked in the basement for extended periods of time and forced them to use a bucket as a toilet, the D.A.'s Office said. He also forced the victims to perform prostitution at various motels throughout Suffolk County.
Rodio coerced his victims into performing prostitution by providing them with heroin and crack cocaine to impair their judgment as well as subjecting one victim to threats of physical violence, according to the District Attorney.
Newsday reports that during Tuesday's hearing, Rodio told Suffolk County Judge Mark Cohen that he did not realize he could testify before the grand jury that had indicted him and asked to be allowed to withdraw the plea. When Cohen refused, Rodio became combative, calling the proceeding "ridiculous."
"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."