Updates to our Terms of Use

We are updating our Terms of Use. Please carefully review the updated Terms before proceeding to our website.

Monday, May 20, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Man Pleads Guilty to Torture

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (CN) - One of five men charged with torturing a mentally disabled woman pleaded guilty to federal charges. James Noel, 45, said he shocked the woman repeatedly with an electrical device and a crank phone. Noel pleaded guilty conspiring to commit sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion.

The woman, who is now 25 and is identified only as "FV", says she was tortured for several years in Edward Bagley Sr.'s rural trailer in Lebanon, in southwest Missouri.

Bagley, 43, faces 11 federal charges, including conspiracy, sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion, and forced labor trafficking.

The other defendants are Bradley Cook, 32, of St. Louis; Dennis Henry, 51, of Wheatland; and Michael Stokes, 62, of Lebanon, Mo.

All four have pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors called it one of the most horrific cases they have ever seen.

In his plea deal, Noel said Bagley told him that he needed to slow down on the torture sessions because the woman made $1,800 a week dancing at an adult club and Bagley didn't want her to get marked up.

Prosecutors claim Bagley marked "FV" with a bar code on her neck, put a tribal tattoo with an "S" for slavery on her back and the Chinese symbol for slave on her ankle. Court papers state Bagley also pierced and sewed FV's vagina and breasts with metal piercings and needles; whipped her body, breasts, genitalia and anus with paddles, canes and floggers; tied her up naked, suspended her in the air and stretched her limbs in opposite directions; shocked her with electrical devices, including a violet wand and a "Erostek;" tied and nailed her labia and nipples to slabs of wood; inserted a catheter into her urethra and clamped the cord to prevent urination for extended periods; bound and tied her naked to a wooden pony with an appendage inserted into her vagina or anus; strapped her down for hours at a time on a homemade device with a motor and piston connected to a metal arm with a dildo; performed abortions on her using speculums, vacuums and clothes hangers to end pregnancies; and so on.

Prosecutors said the torture escalated and included live Web shows.

Bagley allegedly threatened to kill FV and demonstrated his force by shooting animals she cared for in front of her.

The torture stopped on Feb. 27, 2009 when Bagley was forced to seek emergency medical attention for FV after she suffered a cardiac arrest during torture, court papers state.

Noel faces 5 years in prison without parole and a $250,000 fine.

U.S. District Judge Dean Whipple said he would schedule sentencing after a presentence report is completed.

Noel has agreed to cooperate with the government and testify in court as part of the plea.

Follow @@joeharris_stl
Categories / Uncategorized

Subscribe to Closing Arguments

Sign up for new weekly newsletter Closing Arguments to get the latest about ongoing trials, major litigation and hot cases and rulings in courthouses around the U.S. and the world.