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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Defense raises question of whether sex-trafficking victim gave consent

We got a peek into the defense strategy in the Lebanon sex-trafficking case on Tuesday: The victim might not be a victim, an attorney for the lead defendant argues. From Mark Morris' report:

Susan L. Dill, who is representing lead defendant Edward Bagley Sr., said Tuesday that the woman’s understanding of her situation needs to be explored.

The acts alleged by the grand jury can’t be characterized as a crime as long as it’s consensual,” Dill said after a court hearing involving another defendant. “Another story is about to be told.”

There have been some ugly sex-trafficking cases to crop up in western Missouri over the past few years, but the activity alleged here is truly stomach-turning. Five men are charged in connection with the sexual abuse and torture of a young woman who'd allegedly been kept as a sex slave. She was exposed to everthing from "waterboarding and electric shock to piercing and mutilation."

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