Kansas City Star
The wife of a Missouri man accused of brutalizing and sex trafficking a young woman confirmed Thursday that the woman was a minor when the sexual activity began.
Marilyn Bagley made the admission in court records filed with her guilty plea to a single count of conspiracy to commit commercial sex trafficking.
Before her plea at a hastily called hearing Thursday morning, Bagley, 47, was scheduled to go to trial in February with her husband, Edward Bagley, 45, of Lebanon, Mo.
“She is in the unique category of being a victim turned perpetrator,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Cynthia Cordes said at the hearing.
Marilyn Bagley’s plea agreement recommends that she be sentenced to probation. If the sentencing judge does not agree with that recommendation, Marilyn Bagley will be permitted to withdraw her plea and go to trial.
Prosecutors have alleged that in 2002, Edward and Marilyn Bagley offered help to a troubled a 16-year-old girl, who moved in with them the following year. Authorities allege that Edward Bagley began having sexual intercourse with her before her 18th birthday. After she turned 18, he allegedly coerced her into becoming his sex slave. He purportedly tortured her, with the help of other defendants, until she was hospitalized in February 2009.
Edward Bagley allegedly sexually tortured and mutilated the young woman with techniques that the indictment described as “flogging, whipping, shocking, choking, piercing, sewing” and “stapling.”
At times, the indictment alleged, he nailed her most intimate body parts to slabs of wood, sewed private orifices closed, waterboarded her and used a crank telephone to force “high levels of electric voltage” through very sensitive parts of her body.
Susan Dill, Edward Bagley’s lawyer, has argued that the relationship was consensual and merely part of the bondage, discipline and sadomasochism lifestyle.
But Marilyn Bagley’s plea Thursday could moderate the impact of the consent argument. She confirmed in court records that Edward Bagley’s sexual relationship with the alleged victim began when before she turned 18, the age at which she could have given consent under federal law.
Prosecutors had described that relationship before, but, with Marilyn Bagley’s admission, they have someone other than the victim to confirm it.
Dill said she still was trying to sort through the plea but was surprised that it happened without her knowledge. No public notice had been posted ahead of time. ...