News and Press Releases

lebanon woman indicted, more charges filed in sex trafficking scheme, murder-for-hire

victim tortured as slave, forced into sex trafficking
and forced labor

March 30, 2011

KANSAS CITY, Mo.– Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Lebanon, Mo., woman has been indicted by a federal grand jury, joining her husband and four other co-defendants who were indicted last year for their roles in a commercial sex trafficking conspiracy.

The federal indictment alleges that a young, mentally deficient woman was sexually abused and tortured for several years at a Lebanon residence, and forced to work as an exotic dancer at local strip clubs. Today’s indictment also contains additional charges against the original defendants related to a murder-for-hire scheme, witness and victim tampering and witness retaliation, possessing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence and child pornography.

Marilyn Bagley, 45, along with her husband Edward Bagley, Sr., also known as “Master Ed,” 43, and Michael Stokes, also known as “The Rodent,” 62, all of Lebanon, Mo., and Bradley Cook, also known as “PutHer2GoodUse,” 32, of St. Louis, Mo., were charged in an 18-count superseding indictment returned by a grand jury in Kansas City, Mo. Today’s superseding indictment replaces a Sept. 8, 2010, indictment. Edward Bagley, Stokes and Cook remain in federal custody.

Today’s indictment alleges that Edward and Marilyn Bagley enticed a female victim, identified as AFV,@ who they believed came from a troubled childhood and suffered from mental deficiencies, into their trailer home in a wooded area. They allegedly engaged in sexual intercourse and sexual torture activities with FV to groom and coerce her to become a sex slave. Edward Bagley allegedly beat, whipped, flogged, suffocated, choked, electrocuted, caned, skewered, drowned, mutilated, hung and caged FV to coerce her to become a sex slave.

Edward Bagley allegedly advertised online that FV was his slave and could be sexually tortured during live online sessions or in person. The indictment states that Stokes and Cook participated in this conspiracy as customers who paid and offered goods to Bagley to sexually abuse and torture FV. The indictment also alleges that Edward Bagley forced FV to work as a stripper and the Bagleys kept the proceeds from that work.

The federal investigation began after Bagley allegedly suffocated and electrocuted FV during a torture session to a state of cardiac arrest on Feb. 27, 2009. FV, who was 23 years old at that time, received emergency medical treatment and was hospitalized.

Today’s superseding indictment contains an additional charge against Edward Bagley for possessing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.

Cook is also charged with two additional counts of using an interstate facility in the commission of murder for hire, and with one count each of attempted tampering with a victim and attempted witness retaliation, all of which are related to an alleged attempt to kill FV between Sept. 28, 2010, and Dec. 9, 2010. Cook is also charged with tampering with another witness, who is identified as “JP” in the indictment.

Today’s superseding indictment also contains additional charges against Stokes for receiving child pornography over the Internet and for possessing child pornography.

According to the federal indictment, the Bagleys invited FV, who was 16 years old at the time, into their trailer after she ran away from home in December 2002. They promised FV, who had grown up in foster care homes, a “great life,” and promised that they would help her to become a model and a dancer, the indictment says.

The Bagleys used the Internet and BDSM pornography to train and groom FV (while she was still a minor) to be a sex slave. Marilyn Bagley allegedly modeled “slave clothes” as part of recruiting FV to become Edward Bagley’s slave. Edward Bagley allegedly gave FV marijuana and ecstasy, showed her images of pornography and sadomasochism activities, and began sexually abusing her while she was still a minor.

Edward Bagley began sexually torturing FV in February 2004, according to the indictment, when she turned 18 years old and he had her sign a Asex slave contract,@ which he convinced FV legally bound her to him as his slave for the rest of her life. The indictment cites numerous allegations of a variety of sexual acts, torture, and mutilation over a five-year period.

Marilyn Bagley posed in photographs taken by Edward Bagley, the indictment says, where she sexually abused FV. Marilyn Bagley allegedly told FV to “do as she was told” and refused to offer assistance when FV expressed fear of Edward Bagley. Marilyn Bagley benefited financially and by receiving something of value from her role in the sex trafficking scheme.

If FV attempted to stop the activity or cried for help, the indictment says, Edward Bagley escalated the torture. Edward Bagley allegedly threatened to kill FV and demonstrated to her that he could do so by keeping numerous guns in the home. Edward Bagley shot animals that FV cared for in front of her, the indictment says, and bragged about the bodies he had already buried in the woods behind the trailer home. Edward Bagley also threatened to bury FV alive, the indictment says, and showed her a video demonstrating how he intended to do it.

Edward Bagley had FV tattooed to mark her as his property, the indictment says, including a bar code on her neck, a tribal tattoo on her back with the letter AS@ to mark her as a slave, and the Chinese symbol for slave on her ankle.

Between February 2004 and February 2009, the indictment says, Edward Bagley tortured FV on live webcasts on the Internet. Cook allegedly watched live video over the Internet of FV being sexually abused and tortured, and downloaded pictures of FV to his computer. Cook allegedly sent images to Edward Bagley of females in his residence that he beat, bound and tied up to share ideas of how to abuse FV. Cook allegedly used those torture methods on FV when he visited the Bagley residence. Cook gave Bagley a hard drive with sadomasochism and torture videos downloaded from the Internet, including videos demonstrating to Bagley how he could bury FV alive.

Stokes allegedly traveled to the Bagleys’ residence and engaged in both sexually torturing FV and watching Edward Bagley torture FV. Stokes gave Bagley steaks, cigarettes, coats, clothing, lighters and cash. Stokes paid $1,000 for Bagley to transport FV to California in December 2006 for a photo shoot in which FV performed sexual acts. Stokes paid Bagley $300 for a torture session, and also gave him money to build a home-made device to sexually torture FV.

In addition to the criminal conspiracy, each of the defendants is also charged with one count of sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion and one count of using the Internet to facilitate the unlawful activity.

Edward and Marilyn Bagley are also charged together with forced labor trafficking and document servitude. The federal indictment alleges that the Bagleys forced FV to work as a stripper and exotic dancer at adult entertainment clubs from June 2007 to February 2009. They allegedly earned approximately $112,200 from FV's work. According to the indictment, Edward Bagley punished FV with torture and physical and sexual abuse for failing to be a top earner at the adult entertainment clubs where he had her dance and strip. Edward and Marilyn Bagley allegedly confiscated FV's identification documents, including her state-issued identification card, birth certificate and Social Security card.

Edward Bagley is also charged with one count each of using the Internet to entice a minor to engage in illicit sex, enticement to travel for illicit sexual activity, transportation for illicit sexual activity, possessing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance to a person under the age of 21 and being a drug user in possession of firearms and ammunition.

The federal indictment also contains a forfeiture allegation, which would require Bagley to forfeit to the government any proceeds obtained from the alleged offenses, as well as any property used to commit the alleged offenses, including $112,200 allegedly obtained by the forced labor trafficking of the victim, two computers, sex toys and paraphernalia and torture devices and 11 firearms. Cook would also be required to forfeit three computers, a hard drive, two Xbox 360s and seven firearms.

Under federal statutes, a conviction for commercial sex trafficking carries a penalty of a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison without parole. A conviction for either commercial sex trafficking or forced labor trafficking that involves aggravated sexual abuse carries a maximum penalty of life in federal prison without parole.

Phillips cautioned that the charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Cynthia L. Cordes, Paul Becker and John Cowles. It was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in conjunction with the Human Trafficking Rescue Project.

(Download Indictment )

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