Disputing the testimony of nearly a dozen government witnesses who took the stand before him, Sosa, 27, calmly but emphatically denied every allegation in a 26-count indictment returned last year.
He said he was aware of - but did not participate in - beatings that were administered to organization members for so-called violations. He denied ordering those punishments but compared them to fraternity life.
"Just like a fraternity or a sorority of a college might use a paddle," he said when questioned by his lawyer, William DeStefano, about the "rationale" behind the Latin Kings rule that permitted members to be beaten.
He also denied that he had ever ordered a murder, a claim that was contrary to the testimony of several prosecution witnesses who, during the six-week trial, have alleged that Sosa routinely issued "terminate on sight" orders for those he wanted eliminated.
The order was known as a "TOS," according to testimony.
"There is no such thing as a TOS," Sosa said. "You're not supposed to disrespect a member, let alone kill him."
During more than four hours of testimony yesterday, first under questioning by his lawyer and then under a pointed cross-examination by Assistant U.S. Attorney David Troyer, Sosa denied the allegations that are the foundation of the case.
In addition to his across-the-board denial of every charge against him, he claimed that the government had mistakenly identified him as the "Inca," or leader, of the Lion Tribe, the Philadelphia chapter of the Latin Kings.
Sosa said he held no rank in the Lion Tribe. Instead, he said, he served on a three-member state advisory panel that oversaw Latin Kings chapters in Philadelphia, Bethlehem and Allentown. Sosa said his group reported to Latin Kings headquarters in Chicago.
Federal authorities, however, contend that Sosa ran the Philadelphia chapter of the Latin Kings as a criminal enterprise that generated income from heroin dealing. They also allege that Sosa maintained control by ordering murders, beatings and kidnappings of those who balked at his leadership.
His seven codefendants are charged with related offenses. The case includes one murder and several murder conspiracies, along with allegations of abductions, beatings and, in one instance, rape.
Troyer - at times appearing incredulous, at other times clearly sarcastic - zeroed in on dozens of statements Sosa made from the witness stand that conflicted with evidence and testimony already entered in the case.
He also chided Sosa for his Latin Kings name.
When Sosa first took the stand Thursday, he testified that a mentor had given him the name "King Homicide" when, as a 13-year-old, he was "blessed," or initiated, into the Latin Kings. He said the name was an acronym that espoused several of the tenets and goals of the Latin Kings involving cultural identity and uplifting the mind and spirit.
Troyer, who repeatedly challenged that explanation, asked whether Sosa had ever bragged about his violent nature by telling another Latin Kings member: "They don't call me 'Homicide' for nothing."
"No," Sosa replied.
Then, looking directly at the jury, he added: "The name cannot put no harm on someone. . . . Only the individual can."
The defense is expected to call several more witnesses before resting. Closing arguments and jury deliberations are likely this week.
Contact staff writer George Anastasia at 856-779-3846 or email@example.com.