A Lindenhurst man charged with holding two female victims against their will, forcing them into prostitution, was ordered held on $1,002,500 bond -- or $501,250 cash bail -- at his arraignment Wednesday in First District Court in Central Islip, court records show.
Andy Gayot, 35, arrested by police in conjunction with the Suffolk County Probation Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation during the execution of a search warrant Tuesday at his home at 258 N. Greene Ave., entered a plea of not guilty. He is scheduled to next appear in court Friday.
Attorney Larry E. Flowers of Huntington said in a statement Thursday: "He strongly denies all the allegations against him. Once the investigation is complete, we are confident the facts will show that Mr. Gayot has been wrongly accused."
Suffolk County police said that the investigation leading to Gayot's arrest followed concerns raised during a probation meeting -- concerns that led to the issuance of the search warrant. Police said officers and agents found the two victims -- a 21-year-old woman and a 15-year-old, who had run away from home -- being held against their will in the residence. Both of the victims are from Long Island, police said.
Det. Lt. Robert Edwards, commander of the First Squad, said Gayot had forced the older victim into prostitution about a year ago, and his involvement with the 15-year-old dated back about four months.
The victims were not physically restrained, but police said the situation involved "threats" against the victims.
Authorities did not identify either the woman or the teen because both are believed to be the victims of sex crimes.
Edwards declined to detail how Gayot first met the victims, citing the ongoing case, but said there was "a narcotics element" to the relationship. He said the younger victim has been placed in a protective situation, but declined to be more specific. Police said the rape charges were because Gayot is accused of having sex with the teen, who is younger than 17.
Gayot was charged with compelling prostitution, three counts of promoting prostitution, third-degree rape, third-degree criminal sex act, unlawful imprisonment, third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, and other felonies and misdemeanors. It was not clear if a plea was entered.
But court records indicate a temporary order of protection was issued against Gayot.
It was not immediately clear when or why probation officials had been involved with Gayot, but Edwards said that a probation check -- a meeting with a probation official -- had raised red flags about situations at the home.
Officials then applied for a search warrant.
Edwards said the FBI was brought in because the scope of the investigation wasn't immediately clear and it wasn't immediately clear whether the case involved victims who had been transported out of state.