Kansas City Star
A Lebanon, Mo., man accused of sexually torturing a young woman for years admitted Tuesday that he groomed her for a life of bondage and sadomasochism.
Edward Bagley Sr., 45, agreed with prosecutors to serve a 20-year prison sentence.
His guilty plea to using the Internet to entice a minor for illegal sex eliminated the need for a trial, which was to begin next month. In his plea agreement, Bagley admitted that the government could prove he had subjected the woman to harsh treatment for years.
In return for the plea and Bagley’s agreement to a long prison term, prosecutors agreed to drop other serious charges, including counts alleging conspiracy, sex trafficking, forced labor trafficking and document servitude. The agreement also spares Bagley’s young victim from having to testify at trial, though she can speak at sentencing if she chooses.
U.S. Attorney Tammy Dickinson said in a written statement that Bagley’s plea brought “closure to a shocking and horrific case.”
“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,” Dickinson said.
Defense lawyer Susan Dill noted, however, that her client pleaded guilty only to a narrow violation.
“My client did not sexually torture or enslave anyone, nor did he plead guilty to a charge based on that,” Dill said.
U.S. District Judge Dean Whipple said he would delay formally accepting the plea agreement and binding 20-year sentence until after the court’s probation office prepares a pre-sentencing report.
The plea capped more than two years of hard-fought legal maneuvering.
“What is your plea, guilty or not guilty?” Whipple asked.
“Guilty, your honor.”
He also acknowledged knowingly inducing his victim to engage in prostitution and other sexual activity while a minor.
Prosecutors accused Bagley in September 2010 of abusing his victim for much of the previous decade. Prosecutors at the time called the allegations “among the most horrific ever prosecuted” in western Missouri federal court. …