An Arizona 18-year-old has been arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting up to 18 girls, including one as young as 13, over the last three years.
Tyler Kost, 18, allegedly threatened to kill his victims and witnesses, the Pinal County Sheriff’s office said.
Kost, of San Tan Valley, was held without bond on Thursday for sexual assaults that allegedly occurred between 2011 and last month.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Kost was well known around school for being a sexual predator. One victim claimed Kost's mother walked in while he was sexually abusing her and instead of stopping her son she told him to "be more discreet" in the future.
Two victims were so traumatized they left the state, according to the sheriff’s office.
A reporter for KPNX-TV said he’s “had people contacting me for days telling me that they’ve been threatened by Tyler Kost.”
The sheriff’s office described him as a “serial rapist,” who impregnated a 15-year-old victim and threatened to ruin her reputation if she underwent an abortion.
"Tyler Kost was a predator who threatened, harassed, stalked and then either forcibly sexually abused or sexually assaulted his victims," Sheriff Paul Babeu said in a statement.
Kost told ABC15 in an email that he was the victim, and that he was being stalked by an ex-girlfriend. He filed an order of protection against the female recently but that request was denied.
Babeu told reporters Friday that Kost was described "from all of the accounts of the victims, as somebody who was highly manipulative, very charismatic and charming in how he presented himself and then things obviously turned.”
Kost’s attorney has secured a gag order against the sheriff for what he believes are damaging comments about Kost.
Kost faces seven counts of sexual conduct with a minor under the age of 15, seven counts of sexual assault, seven counts of sexual conduct with a minor, three counts of sexual abuse of someone under the age of 15 and one count of sexual abuse.
These counts, which carry a statutory minimum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole, are from 10 of the 18 cases and more charges are expected to filed against the teen.