Warning: The information contained in this story is graphic and sexually explicit in nature.
The federal indictment reads like an episode of "Law and Order." A Lebanon, Mo., man has been charged with torturing and sexually abusing a young woman for seven years and forcing her to work as an exotic dancer at area strip clubs.
"The allegations contained in this indictment are among the most horrific ever prosecuted in this district," said Beth Phillips, United States attorney for the Western District of Missouri. "The sexual torture suffered over a period of years by the victim is highly disturbing."
Edward Bagley, Sr., 43, is accused of luring a 16-year-old runaway into his Lebanon trailer home in December of 2002 by promising he would help her become a model and a dancer. The young girl, who is referred to as "FV" in the indictment, is described as "mentally deficient." Bagley allegedly coerced FV into becoming his sex slave, forcing her to participate in sadomasochistic acts that he broadcasted online.
Four other men have also been indicted by a federal grand jury in connection with the sex trafficking investigation. Michael Stokes, 62, of Lebanon, Dennis Henry, 50, of Wheatland, James Noel, 44, of Springfield, and Bradley Cook, 31, of St. Louis, have been charged with sex crimes in the 11-count indictment.
Between February 2005 and February 2009, Bagley tortured FV on live webcasts on the Internet. Noel, Cook, Henry and Stokes allegedly paid Bagley to watch Bagley torture FV and to sexually abuse and torture FV themselves over a four-year time period that began in February 2005 and ended in February 2009.
Henry and Stokes also paid Bagley approximately $2,900 to transport FV to California in December 2006 for a photo shoot in which FV performed sexual acts. Henry accompanied Bagley on the trip.
|The indictment against the five men was handed down by a federal grand jury in Kansas City on Wednesday. The documents were unsealed and made public yesterday after the five men were arrested and made their initial court appearances.|
The federal investigation into the case began when FV received emergency medical treatment and was hospitalized on Feb. 29, 2009, after Bagley allegedly suffocated and electrocuted FV during a torture session.
The indictment alleges that Bagley began sexually torturing FV in February 2004 when she turned 18 years old. Bagley had FV sign a "sex slave contract," which he convinced FV legally bound her to him as his slave for the rest of her life. FV was tattooed by Bagley to mark her as his property. Court documents state FV had a bar code tattooed on her neck as well as an "S" tattooed on her back and the Chinese symbol for slave tattooed on her ankle.
The indictment claims Bagley engaged in a variety of sexual acts, torture and mutilation with FV over a five-year period. Some of the acts cited in the indictment included whipping, choking, electrocuting, caning, hanging, caging and waterboarding.
If FV attempted to stop the activity or cried for help, Bagley escalated the torture. He also allegedly threatened to kill FV and demonstrated to her that he could do so by keeping numerous guns in the home. Bagley also threatened to bury FV alive, the indictment says, and showed her a video demonstrating how he intended to do it.
|Bagley is also charged with forced labor trafficking and document servitude. The federal indictment alleges that Bagley forced FV to work as a stripper and exotic dancer at adult entertainment clubs from June 2007 to February 2009. Bagley allegedly earned approximately $112,200 from FV's work.|
According to the indictment, 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.
Other charges filed against Bagley include: using the Internet for enticement, enticement to travel for sexual activity; 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. This seized property includes $112,200 allegedly obtained by the forced labor trafficking of the victim, two computers, sex toys and paraphernalia, torture devices and 11 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.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Cynthia L. Cordes. It was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in conjunction with the Human Trafficking Rescue Project.
"The Human Trafficking Rescue Project is specifically designed to address the problem of human trafficking from every direction," Phillips said. "We are providing the victims of human trafficking with the protection and support they need. At the same time, as this indictment illustrates, we are prosecuting both the supply and the demand, both the traffickers and their customers."