Police: Kentucky teens in youth program were sexually abused, given drugs

Published 11:28 am Friday, May 14, 2021

Teens in eastern Kentucky were sexually abused and supplied with drugs and alcohol after joining what was advertised as a “youth support group,” authorities said.

The Mount Sterling Police Department said it began investigating the youth program at McFadden’s Antiques on May 11 after receiving complaints. A search warrant was executed Thursday resulting in two arrests, police said.

Group organizer Richard J. McFadden was charged with unlawful transaction with a minor, trafficking in marijuana and third-degree sexual abuse, according to a police statement. Phyliss A. Mastin was charged with unlawful transaction with a minor.
A flyer advertising the youth program said the business would provide a “safe environment” for teens to hang out while teaching job skills and offering a Bible study. The victims range in age from 13 to 18, police said.

Police continue to investigate and urged anyone with information about the case to contact them.

“We will not tolerate people taking advantage of our youths in the community,” authorities said.

It wasn’t clear whether McFadden and Mastin had attorneys who could comment on the charges.