KANSAS CITY, Mo. –A Missouri man charged in a case that horrified investigators changed his plea to guility in federal court in Kansas City on Tuesday.
Ed Bagley, 45, faced 11 counts including sex trafficking, fraud, forced labor and conspiracy. If convicted, he faced life in prison without parole.
The investigation into the case began in early 2009 after the victim – who prosecutors say was a mentally-deficient runaway who was recruited by Ed Bagley and his wife Marilyn, 47, when she was just 16 – was hospitalized for cardiac arrest following an alleged sex torture session that included suffocation and electrocution.
The U.S. Attorney’s office indicated the change of plea was to happen Tuesday afternoon at the federal courthouse in downtown Kansas City.
Bagley is also alleged to have forced the victim to work as a stripper, keeping her earnings and physically and sexually torturing her when she didn’t earn enough money.
The couple had argued that the sex acts – which they say began after the victim turned 18 – were consensual parts of their bondage and sadomasochistic lifestyle, and the victim was a willing participant.
However, in December Marilyn Bagley pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiracy to commit sex trafficking. In exchange, prosecutors dropped all other charges against her and recommended probation.
With her plea, she admitted that she, along with five other men including her husband, held the teenage girl as a bondage sex slave in their Lebanon, Missouri, mobile home for years.
James Noel, Michael Stokes and Dennis Henry also pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiracy to commit sex trafficking A fourth man – Bradley Cook – pleaded guilty to sex trafficking and is expected to be sentenced to 20 years in prison.