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Fourth defendant pleads guilty in horrific Missouri sex-slave case

A fourth defendant has pleaded guilty in the case of a mentally deficient woman who was held as a sex slave and tortured in a trailer home for years in Missouri, federal prosecutors said Thursday.

Michael Stokes, known as “The Rodent,” 63, of Lebanon, Mo., pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo., to his role in a conspiracy to commit sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion.

Stokes is the last of four defendants convicted under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. A statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Kansas City said that Stokes admitted having sex with the woman, engaging in torture sessions with her, and promoting her appearance in sadistic sessions in magazines and strip clubs.

The horrific acts that the four men were accused of are contained in a news release from the U.S Attorney's Office.

The other defendants:

  • Bradley Cook, also known as PutHer2GoodUse, 33, of Kirkwood, pleaded guilty on Dec. 20. From the news release: "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. ... He witnessed the victim being whipped and locked in a dog cage, as well as being tied up and shocked with multiple electrical devices."
  • Dennis Henry, 51, of Wheatland, formerly the postmaster of Nevada, Mo. From the news release: "Henry admitted that he engaged in sex with the victim, and participated in torture sessions with FV that would last for hours."
  • James Noel, 45, of Springfield. From the news release: "Noel watched the victim being tortured and sometimes operated torture devices himself beginning in 2006, when she was approximately 20 years old."

Authorities said the woman was a mentally deficient runaway who was recruited by an older man at the age of 16 to live in his trailer. The situation came to light in early 2009, after the woman, then 23, landed in a hospital with cardiac arrest following what prosecutors said was a torture session.

Prosecutors said the woman, who was 23 when the case came to light, was mentally deficient. But supporters of the defendants raised questions about whether the woman willingly participated.

In addition to the four men convicted of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, Edward Bagley Sr., 43, of Lebanon, faces federal charges, including conspiracy, sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion, and forced labor trafficking. Bagley's wife, Marilyn Bagley, 45, also faces federal charges of sex trafficking conspiracy.

A graphic 21-page federal indictment described medieval-like sexual devices being used on the woman at Bagley's mobile home about six miles outside Lebanon, in southwest Missouri. Accusations of waterboarding, suffocation and beatings are mentioned throughout.

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