The number of young girls who have victimized by Arizona serial rapist Tyler Kost has reached 18, and may be even higher if more of the rapist’s victims come forward. On Monday, the 18-year-old was arrested for two counts of sexual assault and two counts of sexual misconduct with a minor, but was released on bail for the charges involving one girl. Now, 17 victims and 25 additional counts of sexual crimes later, serial rapist Tyler Kost has been rearrested and is being held without possibility of bail.
Sheriff Paul Babeu stated, “Once we started looking at it, it immediately started to mushroom,” according to CBS. “We absolutely believe there will be far more victims that are out there.” They are asking that any additional people that Kost has violated come forward.
The investigation began after a male called the sheriff’s department on March 25 to report several suspected attacks by Kost after hearing from one of the girls the rapist had hurt.
Tyler Kost was a high school senior at Poston Butte High School in San Tan Valley, Arizona. He has now been suspended from the school following his arrest. Since February, the serial rapist has been taking online classes after he and his parents reported to the school that some female classmates at school had been bullying him.
That is not what the evidence shows. “He wasn’t being bullied at all,” according to School District Superintendent Amy Fuller. Babeu says, “This is a serious and serial sex offender and rapist.” A number of text threats show that Kost was, in reality, the predator and bully, not the bullied.
The serial rapist bought the silence of many of his prey in the same way that countless other predators have ensured silence – by threatening to kill the victim or their family or friends if they told anybody. These young ladies were scared. Some of the girls apparently did report the rapists’ crimes to their parents, according to Babeu, but he said that “parents were emotionally devastated, feeling that they had failed to protect their daughters and fearing the girls would be revictimized in court if the incidents were reported.” It is a travesty that courts would ever revictimize a rape survivor, but it is all too common, as previously reported by The Inquisitr, and the parents’ fears have a basis in reality.
One of the rapist’s victims became pregnant and subsequently aborted the baby. Two of the serial rapist’s victims left the state of Arizona altogether, one after a suicide attempt. Like many of the others, she reported that she was repeatedly threatened and harassed by her rapist. While she was in the hospital following her attempted suicide, she said Kost texted her, telling her that if she returned to school, he would “make her life a living hell,” according to Sgt. Pat Ramirez.
The assaults happened over a three-year span in various places including a park, his home, in the desert, parking lots, vehicles, and their own bedrooms. Some of the rapes happened on dates, with those he violated fighting back verbally and physically. A couple of them reportedly hit him. He just hit them back and continued on with the attack. One girl later texted, “No means NO,” words that fell on deaf ears. He threatened to shoot some of his victims in the head unless they submitted. One was driven deep into the Arizona desert, where he threatened to leave her unless she had sex with him.
“He was, from all of the accounts of the victims, somebody who was highly manipulative, very charismatic and charming,” Sheriff Babea stated in a press conference. He is described as looking innocent, one who would befriend his victims and their families, then ask the girls on a date, luring the innocent into a trap where he would then violently attack them.
In a probable cause statement, Arizona authorities describe the rapist: “Tyler is smart, manipulative and a smooth talker. He is also obsessive and controlling. Tyler believes everyone else is wrong. That is how he is able to victimize so many people.”
Though he is young, this Arizona serial rapist employed many classic tactics used by other serial predators. It is fully expected that more victims will come forward. Some counseling is being provided, and additional resources for victims may be found here.
Arizona’s Pinal County Sheriff’s Office is requesting that anyone with any additional information, including other victims of this serial rapist, call 520-866-5161.