San Tan Valley high school student arrested for sexual assault, misconduct with a minor

SAN TAN VALLEY, AZ - An 18-year-old Poston Butte High School student from San Tan Valley was arrested Monday on allegations of sexual assault and misconduct with a minor.

Pinal County Sheriff's Office says they received a call that a male student had sexually assaulted, abused or molested five teenage girls in the area, according to a news release.

A month-long investigation discovered that there have been at least 13 victims who say they were sexually assaulted by the student, including a 13-year-old girl, according to deputies.

The student reportedly threatened and harassed one of the victims until she attempted to commit suicide. While the girl was undergoing treatment in the hospital, she received a threatening message from the student, hinting more threats if she returned to school.

The student was arrested and booked into Pinal County Jail Monday, but was released from custody after his $10,000 bond was met. The Sheriff is reportedly concerned that the suspect was released on bail after the threats he is accused of making despite the fact he has no prior involvement with police.

Sheriff Paul Babeu said the sexual assaults and rapes happened in some of the victim's own homes or at community centers. He said one of the victims even got pregnant from the suspect.

The investigation is still underway and detectives are looking for additional victims and details. 

According to Florence Unified School District, the student has not been expelled, but has been suspended for at least 9 days and must stay off campus. It will be up to the governing board to decide whether to expend the suspension.

The school district will reportedly not be identifying the student to parents. It sent a robocall out to them Tuesday evening.

Detectives are continuing to investigate and say more charges are pending.

The suspect was released on bond and is back home with his parents. Sheriff Babeu called that "outrageous" given his alleged history.

ABC15 spoke with a 16-year-old student who said the suspect harassed her and sexually assaulted some of her friends.

"He scarred people for life, he scarred me for life, physically and emotionally," she said. "He deserves some repercussions."



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