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Thursday, June 13, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Missouri Torture Case Ends in Guilty Plea

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (CN) - A man from the St. Louis suburb of Kirkwood pleaded guilty to federal charges of sexually torturing a mentally deficient woman.

Bradley Cook, 33, pleaded guilty to commercial sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion. In the binding plea agreement reached Tuesday, the prosecution and Cook jointly recommend a sentence of 20 years in prison without parole, and restitution to the victim. Cook must also forfeit his computer and does not get any credit for cooperating with the government.

Prosecutors say Cook watched and participated in sexual torture sessions of the unidentified victim between 2006 and 2009. They say Cook knew the victim was coerced into the sex acts and that she was unable to and did not want to consent to any of the acts.

Cook admitted he was aware that other men engaged in sexual acts and torture with the woman and that he witnessed her being whipped and locked in a dog cage and being tied up and shocked with electric devices.

Cook described the abuse as the most extreme he had ever seen, the U.S. Attorney's office said in a statement.

After his arrest, Cook was accused of attempting to launch a murder-for-hire plot against the victim and the federal prosecutor. The prosecutor chose to drop those charges this month after a judge ruled that the prosecutor would have to be taken off the case if those charges were to be pursued.

Cook is the third defendant in the case to plead guilty. Dennis Henry, 51, of Wheatland, and James Noel, 45, of Springfield, pleaded guilty to related charges.

Henry admitted to having sex with the victim and participating in the torture sessions. He also saw pictures of the victim's vagina sewn shut, which he was told was a form of punishment. Henry faces up to 15 years in federal prison and up to a $500,000 fine, under federal law.

Noel admitted sexually abusing and torturing the victim. He said he shocked her with a crank phone which was wired inside the victim's vagina and anus and to her toes. Noel faces up to 5 years in federal prison without parole and up to $250,000 in fines.

Two other men, the alleged ringleader Edward Bagley and Michael Stokes, have pleaded not guilty to the charges that were filed in September 2010. Bagley is scheduled to go on trial in February. Bagley's wife, Marilyn, was charged in March with conspiracy, sex trafficking, forced labor trafficking, document servitude and use of an interstate facility to facilitate unlawful activity.

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