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.
Sini said Rodio would initially provide the women with drugs like heroin and crack cocaine for free.
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.
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.
Rodio’s parents lived at the family’s Sound Beach, New York, home while the alleged crimes occurred, Sini said, adding that authorities did not believe the parents themselves engaged in criminal activity.
CNN spoke to Rodio’s father, Ray Rodio II, on the phone, who denied that his son was running a sex trafficking ring out of the family’s basement.
“No, he wasn’t, he wasn’t doing anything out of the basement – he was doing drugs,” Rodio’s father told CNN. Rodio’s father told CNN that he believed his son suffers from a drug addiction, which has negatively affected his family.
“He’s not innocent, OK, he needs help,” Rodio’s father said.
“It’s people who are down on their luck. And that’s what we saw here.” That training led officers to one of the victims of Rodio’s alleged sex trafficking ring, Sini said.