An Arizona high school student has been arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting up to 18 girls and threatening to kill victims and witnesses, the Pinal County Sheriff’s office said.Tyler Kost, 18, was being held without bond after being arrested on Thursday, suspected of assaults on high school students between early 2011 and last month, the sheriff’s office said.
One of the alleged victims was 13 years old, it said.
Kost is accused of 18 assaults, so chances are this isn't going to be defended by a "he said, she said" defense or even it was just a "misunderstanding". This is a serial attacking that was going on. But did it have to be?
“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.
But it makes you wonder how many of these heinous attacks could have been prevented. It's a lot to place any blame on victims for the crimes inflicted upon them. But what about the attacks and brutality committed on those who were assaulted after others became victims themselves?
What is a victim's responsibility?
I've never been raped, so I can only imagine the nightmarish trauma. What follows is sideline speculation. And it's out of genuine concern for others that I have to ask why didn't anyone of these victims report the attacker? It's implied that they feared for their safety. I get it. But if they had spoken up to authorities, any of them, there's a chance that the victims who followed them might never have become victims at all.
Why is it our society fears retribution? Is it poor police procedures? Is it the stigma we assign so greatly to rape and sexual assault victims as opposed to the criminals who commit these crimes? Is it sexism? Embarrassment?
Whatever it is, there's real questions here and a bit of blame on all of us for not making it easier for victims to get through a traumatic experience with the most protection possible, so serial crimes like this don't happen. Eighteen victims. Doesn't it make you wonder what would have been had victims 1-17 spoken up?
We need to do something. Our society is to blame here. Not the 18 total victims. We have to change our thinking and stand up, be strong and support those who've had wrong done to them. It's important to make it easier for the victims to feel comfortable enough to share all the truth with the authorities. Silence just leads to further victimization.