News and Press Releases

human trafficking rescue project

three more defendants sentenced in sadomashochistic
sex trafficking conspiracy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 12, 2013

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that three more defendants were sentenced in federal court today for their roles in the sex trafficking of a young woman who was coerced into being a sex slave for several years while she was tortured in a trailer home located in a wooded area in Lebanon.

Michael Stokes, also known as “The Rodent,” 65, of Lebanon, Mo., and James Noel, 47, of Springfield, Mo., were each sentenced to five years in federal prison without parole in separate hearings before U.S. District Judge Dean Whipple. Marilyn Bagley, 48, of Lebanon, was sentenced to five years of probation.

The court also ordered that $738,250 in total restitution must be paid to the victim. Each defendant is individually liable for $123,041, or one-sixth of the total amount.

On Dec. 6, 2012, Marilyn Bagley pleaded guilty to her role in the conspiracy to commit sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion. Marilyn Bagley admittedly knew that other individuals came to the residence to engage in sexual conduct and sadistic acts on the female victim (identified in court documents as FV). Over a six-year period, FV endured sadistic acts of torture, many of which were photographed and videotaped. FV would be punished if she did not do as instructed. Several individuals provided bondage pornography, meat, cigarettes, and cash, among other items, in exchange for the sessions involving sexual conduct and sadistic acts on FV.

The government stated in court at the time of her guilty plea that Marilyn Bagley is considered in a separate category from the other defendants in this case because she was a victim of extensive physical and emotional abuse by her husband, co-defendant Edward Bagley, Sr., also known as “Master Ed,” 46, for over 25 years prior to her criminal conduct and participation in the conspiracy. Her participation in the criminal conduct resulted in the abuse being redirected away from her and to the victim.

Stokes pleaded guilty on Jan. 5, 2012, to participating in the sex trafficking conspiracy. Stokes became familiar with FV in 2006 when he received pictures of her over the Internet in which she was naked with whip marks over her body. Stokes was told that the victim was a slave for “life” who was tortured for hours at a time and was required to do “everything and anything” she was told. After a few weeks of chatting online, Edward Bagley brought the victim to Stokes’ house so she could do a “demo” for him. When they arrived at Stokes’ residence, bringing a duffle bag of torture devices with them, FV was instructed to “put on a show for us.” FV was naked, wearing only dog collars and ankle collars with locks. Stokes was asked whether he wanted to have sex with her. Stokes said “yes” and he had sex with FV.

Stokes was stunned that “someone had that much control over someone” and “had never seen anything like it.”

Stokes began visiting the Bagley residence where FV was being held. During his first visit, he was shown a photo of FV’s vaginal opening sewn shut and told this was done to demonstrate “what was expected of her.” FV was present for these statements and remained silent. FV never talked back or spoke up. FV never offered herself to Stokes and only acted on command.

Stokes visited the Bagley residence eight to 12 times. During these visits, he would receive sexual acts or be allowed to watch or participate in torturing FV. When he visited he brought steaks, hamburgers, jackets, personalized playing cards, lighters, cigarettes, and cash. Among other things, he witnessed FV being tortured with a crank phone, with electricity shot through devices clamped to her vaginal and anal openings.

Stokes helped promote FV at the strip clubs. Stokes took photos of FV around to the clubs to promote her there.  Stokes gave $1,000 so that FV could be taken for a sexual bondage photo shoot in California for Taboo magazine. Stokes then took a copy of the magazine to promote her at the clubs. The photos in Taboo magazine were extremely mild and did not depict any of the cruel sessions Stokes had witnessed at the residence.

In 2009, Stokes was warned that there was an FBI investigation involving his conduct with FV. Stokes went on his computer and deleted hundreds of photos, his contacts with other females online, pictures of FV that he saved, and destroyed his copies of Taboo magazine and the sexual devices that he had acquired.

Noel pleaded guilty on Feb. 24, 2011, to participating in the sex trafficking conspiracy. Noel admitted that he was one of the customers who sexually abused and tortured FV. Noel watched the victim being tortured and sometimes operated torture devices himself beginning in 2006, when she was approximately 20 years old. For example, Noel knew that FV hated being electrocuted with a crank phone (which was wired inside FV=s vaginal and anal openings and to her toes), which he described as Aextremely painful,@ but he used it on her anyway.

Three defendants in this case were sentenced on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013.

Edward Bagley and Bradley Cook, also known as APutHer2GoodUse,@ 34, of Kirkwood, Mo., were each sentenced to 20 years in federal prison without parole. Dennis Henry, 53, of Wheatland, Mo., was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison without parole. As part of the agreement obtained by the government, Cook was required to pay $123,041 in restitution at the time of his sentencing. Edward Bagley and Henry are individually liable for $123,041 in restitution. Their wages will be garnished while in custody, and after they are released, until they have paid their restitution in full.

Following their prison terms, Bagley, Cook and Henry will be on supervised release for the rest of their lives. Among the terms of supervision ordered by the court, they must adhere to a 10:30 p.m. curfew and are prohibited from any contact with the victim, the government’s attorneys and the agents involved in the case.

This case marked the first time nationwide that the customers, or “Johns,” have been convicted under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act in a sex trafficking case in which the victim was an adult. This is also the first human trafficking conviction in which the customers were prosecuted in a case that involved an actual victim rather than an undercover sting operation.

On Jan. 15, 2013, Bagley pleaded guilty to enticing a minor into illegal sexual conduct and prostitution. Bagley met FV in 2002, when she was 16 years old and dating his teenage son. FV visited his trailer residence in Lebanon on numerous occasions. During FV’s visits to Bagley’s residence, he showed her images and videos of pornography on the Internet and downloaded from the Internet, including images and videos of bondage and sadomasochistic conduct. Bagley admitted that he provided FV with controlled substances. He taught her about bondage and sadomasochistic activities. His wife, co-defendant Marilyn Bagley, 48, modeled stripper and bondage clothing for FV. The Bagleys told FV that she would love being a “slave” for him. Bagley began a sexual relationship with FV prior to her seventeenth birthday.

FV viewed Edward Bagley as her boyfriend and moved into the Bagleys’ residence in 2003. They provided FV her own room and clothes, and promised her a great life.

Over the course of the next six years, Edward Bagley executed sadistic acts of torture on FV, including sewing her vagina closed, whipping and flogging her body, penetrating her breasts with needles and skewers, suffocating her with plastic bags, strangling her with rope, locking her in a dog cage, and electrocuting FV’s sexual organs with devices which produced electrical voltage. Edward Bagley photographed and videotaped many of the acts he performed on her. FV would be punished if she did not do as instructed.

Cook pleaded guilty on Dec. 20, 2011, to participating in a conspiracy to commit sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion. From 2006 to 2009, Cook watched the victim being sexually abused and tortured in live online sessions and as depicted in photos and videos that he downloaded from the Internet. Cook admitted that he traveled to Lebanon on multiple occasions during that time to engage in sessions of sexual acts and torture with the victim. In exchange, Cook paid the victim=s Amaster@ for these sessions with such items as computer hard drives that contained images and videos of bondage, domination, sadism and masochism, which he had downloaded from the Internet.

Cook also admitted he was aware of other men who engaged in sexual acts and torture with the victim. He witnessed the victim being whipped and locked in a dog cage, as well as being tied up and shocked with multiple electrical devices. Cook described the abuse suffered by the victim as the Amost extreme@ he had ever seen.

Henry, formerly the postmaster of Nevada, Mo., pleaded guilty on March 24, 2011, to participating in the conspiracy. Henry also pleaded guilty to transporting the victim across state lines for sexual activity.

Henry admitted that he engaged in sex with the victim, and participated in torture sessions with FV that would last for hours. Henry saw pictures of FV=s vagina sewn shut, which he was told was a form of punishment. Henry also admitted that he visited FV at a Lebanon strip club where she was forced to work.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Cynthia L. Cordes, Paul Becker and John Cowles with assistance from the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division's Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit. It was investigated by the FBI in conjunction with the Human Trafficking Rescue Project.

Return to Top

Stay Connected: Visit us on Facebook or Twitter

Facebook Twitter
Justice 101
Victim Witness Assistance

Making sure that victims of federal crimes are treated with compassion, fairness and respect.

Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee

Training and seminars for federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.

Project Safe Childhood

Help us combat the proliferation of sexual exploitation crimes against children.