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The 20-page federal indictment, unsealed with the men’s arrests Thursday, contains accusations of sexual and physical torture lasting five years, acts that U.S. Attorney Beth Phillips called “among the most horrific ever prosecuted” in the Western District of Missouri.
The alleged torturer, Edward “Master Ed” Bagley Sr., 43, of Lebanon, Mo., tattooed the woman to mark her as his slave, convinced her that she was legally “bound” to him and threatened her, prosecutors said. He also is accused of forcing her to work as a stripper.
Bagley tortured the woman for five years, until he induced a heart attack while suffocating and electrically shocking her on Feb. 27, 2009, prosecutors said. She was hospitalized.
Her hospitalization sparked an 18-month investigation that led to the charges.
Those alleged to be customers for the woman’s forced services included Bradley Cook, 31, of the 11500 block of Big Bend Road in Kirkwood; Dennis Henry, 50, of Wheatland, Mo.; Michael Stokes, 62, of Lebanon; and James Noel, 44, of Springfield, Mo., prosecutors said. Henry’s occupation was listed as postmaster general of Nevada, Mo., but that could not immediately be confirmed Thursday evening. Cook, according to state records, is a licensed real estate broker associate.
The indictment alleges that Bagley met the woman when she was 16 and a runaway and persuaded her to move into his trailer with promises of a “great life” and a future as a model and dancer.
She got her own room, furniture and TV, and Bagley began giving her drugs, showing her pornography and sexually abusing her, prosecutors said.
When she turned 18, he persuaded her to sign a ‘sex slave contract,” which he said bound her to him for life, prosecutors claim.
Bagley “beat, whipped, flogged, suffocated, choked, electrocuted, caned, skewered, drowned, mutilated, hung and caged” the girl “to coerce her to become a ‘sex slave,’” the indictment says. It adds that he tied her up and hung her in the air, locked her in a dog cage and used staples, nails and a sewing needle and thread during torture sessions too violent to describe.
In 2005, Bagley began boasting online that the girl was his slave and could be tortured during online sessions or in person, the indictment says.
Henry, Stokes, Noel and Cook gave Bagley cash, cigarettes, computer equipment, sadomasochism videos, coats and meat in exchange for access to the girl, the indictment says.
If she cried out or tried to stop the torture, it only got worse, prosecutors said. Bagley threatened her by claiming to have buried other bodies behind his trailer home and shooting animals that she cared for in front of her, prosecutors said.
Bagley also performed abortions on the girl, the indictment says.
The indictment says Cook, the Kirkwood man, downloaded pictures and videos of the girl being tortured, gave Bagley a computer hard drive containing sadomasochism and torture videos downloaded from the Web, watched the torture live and had sex with the girl.
Court documents allege that Cook has a long history of violent behavior, sadomasochistic conduct and drug abuse and that “he tortured and sexually mutilated at least two other female victims in the past.”
A call to one of Cook’s former addresses was answered by someone who declined to answer questions about Cook and referred a reporter to Cook’s lawyer, but declined to provide a lawyer’s name.
The men could face life in prison.
This is sick and cruel. All off these men better be in prison and suffering the same type of torture that she was, although I’m sure that is impossible. She’s lucky to have survived the nearly fatal attack that ironically saved her life.