An 18-year-old Arizona man accused of preying upon school students faces multiple counts of sexual assault, sexual conduct with a minor and other crimes, a prosecutor's office said Thursday.
Pinal County sheriff's deputies arrested Tyler Kost of San Tan Valley last week, accusing him of being a serial sex predator who assaulted at last 18 students.
County Attorney Lando Voyles said in a Thursday news conference he filed a 27-count indictment against Kost.
The charges include:
3 counts - Sexual Abuse with a Minor, under the age of 15
6 counts - Sexual Conduct with a Minor, under the age of 15
1 counts - Child molestation, a child under 15
7 counts - Sexual Assault with a Minor, 15 or older
7 counts - Sexual Abuse with a Minor, 15 or older
3 counts - Sexual Conduct with a Minor, 15 or older
If the defendant is found guilty on all 27 counts, he would face a sentencing exposure between 147 years and up to 335.75 years in prison.
Kost will be arraigned in Pinal County Superior Court on Friday May 16.
Kost's attorney, Christine Whalin, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
In addition to calling Kost a sexual predator, Sheriff Paul Babeu last week said Kost threatened and harassed victims to such an extent that two fled the state and one attempted suicide.
"This is a serious and serial sex offender and rapist," Babeu said.
The investigation was initiated after the Sheriff's Office received a call March 25 from someone reporting that Kost had sexually abused and molested five teenage girls.
The incidents appear to go back three years, Babeu said.
Kost lives in San Tan Valley, a bedroom community of about 87,000 named for its location in the foothills of the San Tan Mountains. The area, which lies 45 miles southeast of Phoenix, is known for golf courses and hiking trails.