Human Traffic Watch

Missouri sex slave case may hinge on expert view of subculture

In Awareness, Child Sex Trafficking, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on December 3, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Prosecutors have alleged that in 2002, Bagley persuaded a 16-year-old girl to live with him and later coerced her into becoming his sex slave. Bagley purportedly tortured her, with the help of other defendants, until she was hospitalized in February 2009.

The techniques allegedly ranged from waterboarding and electric shock to piercing and mutilation.

In court records, a government expert already has opined that the young woman was “tortured,” while defense lawyers have argued that the conduct was “legal” and “consensual.”

Judges often permit testimony from witnesses designated as experts because of their education, training or unique life experiences. They explain areas with which jurors may be unfamiliar, such as complex financial matters or scientific forensic evidence.

And though unusual, experts sometimes are called to address exotic sexual subcultures unexplored by the typical juror.

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