Officials from a small city in Ohio accused of sex trafficking of underage girls

Officials from a small city in Ohio accused of sex trafficking of underage girls

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It was the escape that Linda Mills had long sought from a life that, according to her, was full of physical and sexual abuse. Instead, Mills said she was trafficked at age 15 and that a member of the local police sent her to a prostitute in Chicago.

“I trusted Phil Malone. I trusted him”, Mills said, “I never once thought it would lead me badly.”

“But it was a betrayal at age 15. You’re a cop. You are supposed to serve and protect, and there was no service and protection.”

Mills is one of four women to accuse Malone or her brother, Mark Malone, of inappropriate sexual behavior or of exchanging sexual favors for light treatment from the Department of Probation in the city of Portsmouth, where they both worked.

Two of those women, including Mills, said Phil Malone had sex with them when they were minors and trafficked them or tried to send them away for sex.

The Enquirer spent the last two months investigating the claims against the Malone brothers after publishing the results of a one-year investigation in March on sex trafficking allegations here against former Portsmouth councilman Michael Mearan and others.

Enquirer’s initial report details the accusations of 10 different women against Mearan, a well-known defense lawyer in the city, as well as the content of a sworn statement of compliance with federal law that describes the part of Mearan in an alleged sex trafficking operation .

Now, the accusations of four women show that the activity may have been more widespread.

“Phil Malone was a pervert”, said Kayla Artressia, who says Malone tried to send her to Chicago when she was 16, but refused.

Another woman said she had sexual contact with Mark Malone while serving community service in the office when he was in charge. Mark Malone, the city’s former probation officer, is on administrative leave for possible illegal activity. His brother and former city probation officer, Phil Malone, was recently charged with a felony.