Arizona teen accused of sexually assaulting least 18 girls

By Kyle Johnson,

Police say an Arizona teen, who was previously arrested for allegedly assaulting an underage girl multiple times, was picked up again as more allegations of abuse by several other girls have surfaced.

The Pinal County Sheriff's Office is investigating 12 new claims of sexual assault and say that another five cases will also now have to be looked into, reports KPHO. Ages of the alleged victims range from 13 to 17 years of age.

Tyler Kost, 18, is currently in police custody and will remain in jail after a judge granted detectives' request he not be let go again. He was only released on bond in relation to the initial accusations of assault on Monday.

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said, "Once we started looking at it, it immediately started to mushroom." He added, "We absolutely believe there will be far more victims that are out there."

According to The Associated Press, Kost was initially arrested for the first case on multiple charges of sexual assault and sexual misconduct with a minor.

His high school, Poston Butte High School, sent in psychologists and counselors to help anyone attending the school.

One case that police are investigating involve a girl who was pushed into attempting suicide after being abused by Kost. While in the hospital, she was allegedly contacted by Kost who said for her to stay away from school or he would harass her further. Bebeu said she ended up moving out of state.

Babeu said, "From all of the accounts of the victims (Kost) is someone who is highly manipulative, very charismatic and charming in how he presented himself. And then things obviously turned."

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