News and Press Releases

human trafficking rescue project

lebanon woman pleads guilty to sex trafficking;
victim was tortured, coerced as a sex slave

December 6, 2012

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - David M. Ketchmark, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Lebanon, Mo., woman pleaded guilty in federal court today to her role in the sex trafficking of a victim 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.

Marilyn Bagley, 47, of Lebanon, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Gary A. Fenner to her role in a conspiracy to commit sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion.

By pleading guilty today, Bagley admitted that the victim, identified as “Female Victim,” or “FV,” was subject to sadistic acts of torture that increased in quantity and intensity over a six-year time period. They involved, for example, strangulation, suffocation, breast and vaginal penetration with skewers, and electrical voltage.

Bagley invited FV to stay overnight at her trailer home in 2002. In 2003, while the victim was still a minor, Bagley invited her to move in permanently. Bagley admitted that she knew FV had previously been sexually and physically abused and grew up with a troubled life in foster care. FV was shown images and videos of people engaging in bondage activities online and downloaded from the Internet. Bagley taught FV how to do basic things she did not know how to do like dress, eat, wear makeup, cook and clean. Bagley also admitted that she taught FV how to behave as a sex slave. Sadistic acts were conducted on FV, who would be punished if she did not do as instructed.

Bagley knew that other individuals, including four co-defendants who have pleaded guilty in this case, came to the residence to engage in sexual conduct sadistic acts on FV. They provided bondage pornography, meat, cigarettes, and cash, among other items, in exchange for the sessions involving sexual conduct and sadistic acts on FV.

Under the terms of today’s binding plea agreement, Bagley will receive a sentence of probation. The government stated in court that 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 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. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

Bagley is the fifth defendant to be convicted in this case under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.

Co-defendant Michael Stokes, also known as “The Rodent,” 47, of Lebanon, pleaded guilty on Jan. 5, 2012, to participating in the 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, the plea agreement says, a co-conspirator 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 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 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 began assisting in promoting 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.

Under federal statutes, Stokes is subject to a sentence of up to five years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000 and an order of restitution.

Co-defendant Bradley Cook, also known as APutHer2GoodUse,@ 34, of Kirkwood, pleaded guilty on Dec. 20, 2011, to participating in the conspiracy.

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.

Under the terms of a binding plea agreement, Cook is subject to a sentence of 20 years in federal prison without parole. Cook must also pay restitution to the victim. In addition to the sentence of imprisonment, the court may impose a term of supervised release up to life. Cook must also forfeit to the government the computer media he used to commit the offense.

Co-defendant Dennis Henry, 52, of Wheatland, 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.

Under federal statutes, Henry is subject to a sentence of up to 15 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $500,000 and an order of restitution.

Co-defendant James Noel, 47, of Springfield, pleaded guilty on Feb. 24, 2011, to participating in the 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.

Under federal statutes, Noel is subject to a sentence of up to five years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000 and an order of restitution.

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

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