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Accused Brooklyn Pimp Charged With Murdering, Dismembering Sex Worker, Torturing Others
Somorie Moses has been charged for the second time in the 2017 beating death of Leondra Foster, whose head Moses previously confessed he stored in a freezer.
An accused pimp from Brooklyn has been charged with murdering one woman and torturing at least eight others as part of a years-long sex trafficking operation, federal authorities announced Tuesday.
Somorie Moses, 45, has been charged with the 2017 murder and dismemberment of Leondra Foster, one of at least nine victims Moses allegedly trafficked for sex, according to the Department of Justice. Per the unsealed 10-count indictment, Moses was also charged with abusing and torturing his unnamed victims, including minors, whom he allegedly forced to work in the sex work industry in New York City.
Feds say they believe the federal indictment is the first of its kind, criminalizing murder during the course of sex trafficking.
“Words do not adequately convey the depravity of the long list of actions Moses allegedly took to torment and terrorize women so he could traffic them for money,” said FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Michael J. Driscoll.
According to charging documents - filed May 18 with the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York - Moses allegedly forced women and girls into prostitution as early as 2003. One of these victims included Leondra Foster.
Authorities say Moses beat Foster to death in the early morning hours of Jan. 13, 2017. The next day, the suspect allegedly used a knife and saw to dismember the victim in their shared Brooklyn apartment.
Four days after the murder, Moses allegedly brought parts of Foster’s body to a sanitation site in the Bronx.
Law enforcement later allegedly found Foster’s hands and feet in a deep freezer in Moses’ apartment, including a foot with the name “Somorie” tattooed in the flesh.
Moses previously stood trial for Foster’s murder in 2019, according to the New York Post. Although he was convicted on charges of negligent homicide and concealing a corpse, he was acquitted on charges of second-degree murder, drawing outcry from Foster’s family and spectators.
At the time, Moses confessed to dismembering Foster and storing her body parts in a freezer but claimed she was killed by a John, not by him. Moses’ attorneys said he was merely a businessman who wouldn’t do anything to hurt his business, such as killing Foster.
Moses was sentenced to serve four to eight years behind bars.
Feds say Moses used “extreme violence” to force his victims into prostitution. Of the nine Jane Does Moses is accused of abusing, two of them “had not yet attained the age of 18.”
According to the newly released indictment, Moses allegedly propositioned his victims by promising them marriage and intimacy before demanding they work as sex workers and provide Moses with their earnings.
“Moses used brutal beatings, rape, torture, and threats to coerce his victims to work in prostitution in Brooklyn and Queens and to comply with his orders,” Department of Justice’s press release stated. “Moses pressured many of his victims into getting his first name, 'Somorie,' tattooed on their bodies.”
The release cited examples of such abuse, including Moses allegedly tasering a victim into submission when she refused to work in prostitution.
The torture didn’t stop there, feds say.
“On another occasion, Moses slashed a victim’s arms and back with a razor and beat her with a belt before pouring lemon juice on her wounds, leaving her permanently scarred,” the release stated. “When another victim did not do as Moses ordered, he beat her with an extension cord and threatened to rub salt in her wounds.”
When another victim voiced that she no longer wanted to work as a sex worker, Somorie allegedly put a shotgun in her mouth and threatened the life of the woman and her child.
NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell stated, “the level of depravity allegedly shown in this case is truly beyond the pale.”
Moses was convicted in 2006 for attempting to promote prostitution for profit with a victim who was under the age of 16, according to the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services.
“Sex trafficking is a modern form of slavery that uses violence and fear to force vulnerable individuals to work for someone else’s profit, in this case resulting in the alleged brutal murder of one of the victims,” said U.S. Attorney Breon Peace. “This office will continue to prioritize investigation and prosecution of these heinous crimes.”
Peace and Driscoll both commended the victims’ bravery in helping them apprehend Moses.
“He’s accused of storing a woman’s head in his freezer after he killed her,” Driscoll stated. “Imagine how hard it is for the victims to come forward - but they have and should be commended for their bravery. They will help us bring Moses to justice for his alleged crimes and will keep him from harming another human being.”
Authorities say the case is still under investigation and urge anyone with information to contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI. Agents note that Moses used various names, including “Somorie Barfield,” “Sugar Bear,” “Bear,” and “Daddy.”