Teenager accused of sexually assaulting 13 girls
SAN TAN VALLEY, Ariz. (KPHO) – An Arizona teen is accused of multiple sex crimes against 13 girls in the San Tan Valley area, the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday.
Nearly all of the victims are high school students, according to sheriff’s office spokesman Sgt. Pat Ramirez. Sheriff’s investigators said they discovered one girl was 13-years-old.
The suspect in the case is identified as Tyler Kost, 18, of San Tan Valley. Kost is a student at Poston Butte High School. He was arrested on Monday and booked into the Pinal County Jail on two counts of sexual assault and two counts of sexual misconduct with a minor related to one of the cases.
In one case, Kost threatened, harassed and told one of the victims to kill herself, deputies said. The girl followed through and attempted suicide and was hospitalized, Ramirez said.
While in the hospital, she allegedly got a message from Kost, threatening that if she returned to school he would “make her life a living hell,” Ramirez said. Fearful of returning, she packed up and moved out of state, the sheriff’s office said.
The arrest came after a citizen tipped off a Pinal County sheriff’s detective assigned to the Persons Crimes Bureau. Initially, the citizen told authorities there were five victims.
Detectives opened an investigation and identified eight other girls who claimed they had been sexually assaulted, sexually abused and molested by Kost, Ramirez said.
A judge set bond at $10,000, which was quickly posted and Kost was released from custody.
Detectives are continuing the investigation and additional charges are pending.
Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said he anticipated more victims might be identified.
People with any information about the alleged crimes are asked to contact the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office.