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Sept. 25, 2022

The Case of Somorie Moses "Sugar Bear"

Somorie Moses is also known on the streets of New York by the name of “Sugar Bear.” Around Jan. 12 and Jan. 13, 2017, Moses was initially accused of murdering Leondra Foster by beating her to death.

During the initial trial, the prosecutors argued that Moses forced Foster into prostitution, which eventually led to a “john” (sex client) brutally beating her. Foster later died from her injuries. Moses during the trial admitted to being a pimp however he only saw himself as being a good samaritan and protector because he claimed he beat up Foster’s attacker.  However, after it was all said and done, he then panicked when Foster died and was afraid to contact the police. Moses decided to cut and saw the victim up into approximately nine pieces and placed her hands and feet inside a freezer in an apartment that he shared with the victim. Moses then contacted his friend who worked as a commercial trash hauler and took the remaining body parts to a waste station in the Bronx on January 17, 2017.

Another trash worker came across the victim’s torso and contacted police who were able to trace the body back to Moses via the acquaintance, who initially faced a charge of concealing a corpse. Mose’s friend ended up becoming a key witness for the prosecution. Foster’s head, hands, and feet including a foot with the name “Somorie” tattooed on it were subsequently recovered by law enforcement inside the deep freezer of Moses’s apartment.

So, I am curious to know why he did not take the remaining body parts to the dump or dispose of them somewhere else besides the freezer.  

Moses is eventually arrested and goes to trial.

Mose’s attorney during the trial was Julie Clark and she argued that Moses’ defense was that Moses cut up the body because he did not want to go to jail or be blamed for Foster’s death. The lawyer defends that Moses had no reason to actually kill Foster because she was his “moneymaker.” Moses’ attorney Julie Clark argued during that trial he couldn’t have killed her because he’s a businessman who didn’t want to hurt his bottom line, though the defense conceded he cut up her dead body.

Statements from the victim’s family have indicated that Foster and Moses had once been in a relationship and that when she tried to leave, he had allegedly threatened to kill her.

In 2019, Moses was found guilty of negligent homicide and concealing a corpse in Foster’s death, but he was acquitted on the second-degree murder charge.  Moses received a maximum sentence of 8 years in prison. His earliest release date was May 25, 2022.

Was the sentence justified I will let you decide? However, this is not his first conviction. He had previous convictions in the King's Court of New York. In 2007, he was arrested and convicted for attempted promoting prostitution and profit from the prostitution of a person 16 years or younger. For this offense, he was required to register as a sex offender. Where it looks like he received a five-year prison sentence and completed his sentence on December 4, 2009. So basically, he did approximately two years' time for this offense.

Then in 2012, Moses was arrested and convicted of criminal possession of a weapon and sent to prison, and was released on 01/08/2016. Moses spent more time on gun possession than the pimping charge of a minor which kind of shows me the value that the justice system places on human life.  Either way, he is no stranger to the courts or to the prison system. With a turn of events on May 18, 2022, federal charges were filed against Moses. A  10-count indictment was handed down.  With nine counts of sex trafficking,  with one of the counts including the initial victim Leondra foster. Count 10 is for the murder of Leondra Foster in the course of sex trafficking. Two victims listed on the indictment are under the age of 18. According to a press release made by the United States Attorney’s Office Eastern District of New York, "this indictment is believed to be the first use of the federal statute criminalizing murder in the course of sex trafficking." 

According to the federal indictment in this case and other court filings, since at least 2003, Moses allegedly forced women and girls, including minors, into prostitution for his benefit using violence, threats of violence, and psychological manipulation.  After meeting his victims, Moses used false promises of love and marriage to initiate sexual relationships with them before demanding that they work as prostitutes and turn over the money they earned to him.  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.  Moses pressured many of his victims into getting his first name, “Somorie,” tattooed on their bodies. 

As alleged, in the federal indictment, Moses used extreme violence to force his victims to work in prostitution for his benefit.  For example, when one victim refused to engage in prostitution, Moses used a taser against her until she complied.  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.  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 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.

The federal case is still ongoing and Moses is considered innocent until proven otherwise. I will keep you posted on this ongoing story as it should be interesting to see if he gets convicted.



New York Department of Corrections

Indictment from United States District Court Eastern District of New York