The U.S. Attorney for Western Missouri sent out a release this afternoon about -- if it's true -- one of the worst cases of sexual abuse and torture that we've seen in this region. Prosecutors say a young woman was kept as a sex slave for five years in Lebanon, Mo., and only got official help after one suspect electrocuted and suffocated her. She went into cardiac arrest and, thus, had to be hospitalized.
Five men face charges. Two are from Lebanon, one is from Springfield, one is from St. Louis and the last is from Wheatland.
The young woman is now in her early 20s. She was 16 and a runaway when Edward Bagley Sr. allegedly let her live in his trailer home in December 2002. The young woman suffers from "mental deficiencies" and grew up in the foster-care system, prosecutors say. Bagley gave her her own room, clothes, food -- and pot and ecstasy.
She was sexually abused, then tortured, the U.S. attorney's office alleges. At age 18, she signed a "sex slave contract" with Bagley. He tortured her and put the sessions online. The other four men allegedly paid for the privilege of torturing the young woman or watching someone else do so. One suspect is a postmaster general in his town. The other is a national rep for a disabled veterans group.
Bagley is accused of threatening the young woman with death and tattooing her with symbols to indicate she was a slave. Prosecutors say that, while she watched, he would shoot animals that she cared about.