A Miami sex fetish club owner was convicted Wednesday of strangling his roommate, then dumping her body on the street.
Jurors deliberated just one hour before convicting Luis Moya, 52, of murdering 21-year-old Ana Rosa Moreno, whom he met on Craigslist. He faces life in prison and will be sentenced on July 19.
Moya used to run the Hammer & Nails fetish club in Wynwood, a “dungeon” and photo studio for patrons who role play with bondage. The club featured electric-shock equipment, cages and even a coffin.
In a profile in the Miami New Times in 2016, Moya touted the club as a safe space for people who enjoy “BDSM,” an acronym for bondage and sadomasochism.
“People think BDSM has to give someone pain all the time, but it has nothing to do with that,” Moya told the newspaper. “The majority of BDSM is about having control over someone’s feelings and beliefs and making them feel awesome. We’re humans; sex is a part of every human’s lifestyle.”
Jurors were not allowed to know about Moya’s work with the club.
But at trial, they heard that he strangled Moreno, who worked at a car dealership and lived for a time with him in his Kendall home. Moya had lied to her, saying he was only 37 and a wealthy Brazilian businessman.
At trial, prosecutors said Moya became enraged with Moreno after she moved out.
Her body was discovered dumped on the road on the 2900 block of Southwest First Avenue early in the morning on Dec. 15, 2018. At first, police believed she had overdosed on drugs, until an autopsy revealed she had been strangled.
Moya admitted to Miami homicide detectives that she returned to his home that night. He claimed she demanded money, then asked him to drop her off in The Roads, a Miami neighborhood. At first, he admitted he drove her there, but claimed she got out, got into someone else’s car and he drove away.
But prosecutors Suzanne Von Paulus, Sarah Waters and Stewart Hedrick showed the jury a surveillance video that depicted him dumping her body, and him driving away in her Honda Accord. When shown the video by police, Moya changed his story and denied the car on the footage was the one he was driving.
The state also presented toll records showing him driving from Kendall to Miami, text messages outlining their angry exchanges and his Google searches that led him to disable the GPS in her car before discarding the body. He never admitted to strangling her.
At trial, defense lawyers attacked the police department’s investigation as insufficient, with no evidence proving he actually killed Moreno.