Lebanon Man Pleads Guilty, Faces 20 Years in Prison for Coercing a Minor to Become a Sex Slave
Human Trafficking Rescue Project
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Lebanon, Mo., man pleaded guilty in federal court today to using the Internet to groom and entice a minor girl into illegal sexual conduct that led to years of sadomasochistic abuse.
“Today’s guilty plea brings closure to a shocking and horrific case,” Dickinson said. “Six defendants now have been brought to justice for their roles in the brutal sexual torture and enslavement of a young woman who was just a teenager when the victimization began.
“The Human Trafficking Rescue Project continues to lead the nation by breaking new ground in trafficking cases,” Dickinson added, “prosecuting both the supply and the demand, both the sex traffickers and their customers.”
Edward Bagley, Sr., also known as “Master Ed,” 45, of Lebanon, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Dean Whipple to enticing a minor into illegal sexual conduct. Under the terms of today’s binding plea agreement, Bagley will face 20 years in federal prison without parole. The court will also order Bagley to pay restitution to his victim.
“Both the interest of the victim and the cause of justice have been served today,” Dickinson said. “The victim is spared having to endure a difficult trial and she can continue her healing process.”
Bagley met the female victim (identified in court documents as FV) in 2002, when she was 16 years old and dating his teenage son. FV visited his trailer residence in Lebanon on numerous occasions. Bagley knew that FV grew up in foster care, came from a troubled home life and had suffered emotional, physical, and sexual abuse in her past. He also knew that FV suffered from mental deficiencies and had previously sustained a traumatic head injury.
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, 47, 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 sadomasochistic acts 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, putting 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.
Edward Bagley is the sixth and final defendant to be convicted in this case. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
Five defendants have pleaded guilty to their roles in a conspiracy to commit sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion. This is 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.
Marilyn Bagley pleaded guilty on Dec. 6, 2012, to her role in the conspiracy. According to Marilyn Bagley’s plea agreement, the victim 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. FV would be punished if she did not do as instructed.
Marilyn Bagley admittedly knew that other individuals, including four co-defendants who have pleaded guilty in this case, came to the residence to engage in sexual conduct and 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 her binding plea agreement, Marilyn Bagley will receive a sentence of probation. The government stated in court 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 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.
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, 53, 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 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.