Somorie Moses charged with murder during sex trafficking

Somorie Moses appears in a mug shot.

Somorie Moses appears in a January 18, 2016 photo of a sex offender released in a New York state registry.

A federal judge in Brooklyn on Tuesday unsealed a grand jury indictment Somorie Moses, 45, with sex-trafficking murder. The case is believed to be the first application of the statute, federal prosecutors said.

Moses, whose alias “Somorie Barfield“, “sugar bear“, “Wear,” and “dad‘ is accused of murder Leondra Forest in the sex trade with a total of eight women. The women other than Foster are identified only as “Jane Does” in federal court filings.

Moses faces 10 counts. These include nine sex trafficking cases and the sex trafficking murder case mentioned above. Two of the charges (numbers two and six) involve a woman, Jane Doe #2. Two of the charges (counts nine and ten) concern Foster.

Moses is accused of having “forced women and girls, including minors, into prostitution for his benefit through violence, threats of violence and psychological manipulation,” the federal prosecutor wrote in a press release. “After meeting his victims, Moses used false promises of love and marriage to establish sexual relationships with them before demanding that they work as prostitutes and hand over any money they earned.”

The defendant is said to have used “brutal beatings, rape, torture and threats to force his victims to work in prostitution in Brooklyn and Queens.” He is also accused of urging victims to have his first name tattooed on their bodies.

The FBI summarized the allegations of brutality and end-of-life of Foster in a press release Tuesday:

As alleged, Moses used extreme violence to force his victims to work in prostitution for his benefit. For example, when a victim refused to engage in prostitution, Moses used a stun gun on her until she complied. On another occasion, Moses slashed a victim’s arms and back with a razor and hit them with a belt before pouring lemon juice on their wounds, scarring them permanently. When another victim failed to do as Moses commanded, he hit her with an extension cord and threatened to sprinkle salt in her wounds. When another victim told Moses she did not want to work as a prostitute, he put a shotgun in her mouth and threatened to kill her and her child.

In the early hours of January 13, 2017, Moses allegedly murdered Leondra Foster, one of his many sex trafficking victims, by beating her until she died. The next morning, Moses dismembered Foster’s body with a knife and saw in their shared apartment in Brooklyn, New York. Four days later, on the morning of January 17, 2017, Moses took Foster’s torso and limbs to the Bronx for disposal at a sanitary facility. Foster’s head, hands and feet – including a foot with the tattooed name “Somorie” – were subsequently recovered by law enforcement in the freezer at Moses’ apartment.

“He’s accused of keeping a woman’s head in his freezer after killing her,” he said Michael J Driscoll, the deputy chief of the FBI’s New York field office, said in reference to Foster. “Imagine how hard it is for his victims to come forward – but they have and should be commended for their bravery. You will help us bring Moses to justice for his alleged crimes and stop him from harming another human being.”

Somorie Moses appears in an earlier December 7, 2009 photo published in the New York State Sexual Offender Registry.

Somorie Moses appears in an earlier photo dated December 7, 2009 that was released in the New York State Sex Offenders Registry.

Federal prosecutors wrote in a warrant that the defendant should remain incarcerated pending trial: “No condition or combination of conditions would reasonably ensure the person’s appearance as required and the safety of another person and the community,” they said.

This argument continued:

The evidence of the accused’s guilt is very strong. The government intends to prove the accused’s guilt in court through, among other things, the testimonies of numerous witnesses and victims, medical records and autopsy reports, text messages and recorded phone calls. The government expects numerous victim witnesses to testify about brutal beatings, threats of violence, rape and psychological manipulation they suffered at the hands of the accused. In addition, following his arrest, the defendant confessed to Foster’s murder to at least two people. Although this evidence was not available at the defendant’s previous state trial, the government intends to introduce testimony to these confessions in court in this case.

If convicted, Moses faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison, the warrant said. He could also face the death penalty.

In a previous state-level criminal case, Moses testified that he made money as a “pimp” for about two decades. He admitted that he “beat [Foster] around” and gave her “many . . . blue eyes,” the federal prosecutor stated.

During his earlier criminal trial in New York State, Moses admitted to hacking up Foster’s remains but claimed he did not kill her. A jury convicted Moses of negligent manslaughter and concealing a body, but acquitted Moses of murder at the state level. He was reportedly sentenced to eight years in prison New York Daily News, but a New York State prison website lists the effective sentence as four to eight years. That means his earliest possible release date would be May 25, 2022, according to the New York State Department of Corrections. In other words, the federal indictment was unsealed the day before Moses could technically be released.

According to the New York State Sex Offender Registry, Moses is being held in a New York State prison near Whitehall, New York

State records state that Moses was previously imprisoned at least twice. He was jailed at New York’s Wyoming Correctional Facility in Attica between May 2, 2007 and December 4, 2009 for attempting to encourage prostitution. He was also incarcerated at the Gouverneur Correctional Facility in upstate New York from September 17, 2012 to January 8, 2016 on criminal firearms possession charges. All convictions occurred in Kings County, which includes Brooklyn, according to prison records.

“Sex trafficking is a modern form of slavery that uses violence and fear to force vulnerable individuals to work for the benefit of others, leading in this case to the alleged brutal murder of one of the victims,” ​​the US attorney said Breon Peace of the Eastern District of New York. “This office will continue to prioritize the investigation and prosecution of these heinous crimes. I thank the victims for their courage in coming forward to report the defendant’s crimes and I hope this prosecution will help bring them and Ms Foster’s family to a close.”

Prosecutors said the federal investigation was ongoing.

“Anyone with information regarding crimes committed by Somorie Moses is asked to contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI,” they said.

Read some of the court documents below:

Do you have a tip we should know? [email protected] Somorie Moses charged with murder during sex trafficking

Olly Dawes

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