Lawyers for a 19-year-old accused of sexually assaulting several girls at his former school have claimed the alleged victims lied about the accusations and decided to “teach him a lesson” after being inspired by a Hollywood movie.
Tyler Kost appeared in court on Monday after being arrested last year when he was accused of a series of sexual crimes against 13 girls aged between 13 and 17. The Associated Press said that most of the girls were former classmates at his school in Arizona.
But lawyers filed documents with the court that included a group Facebook chat where three of the accusers and three witnesses made plans to target Mr Kost and referred to the movie John Tucker Must Die, in which ex-girlfriends take revenge on a former boyfriend. The exchange happened weeks before the women accused Mr Kost of sexual assault.
Mr Kost’s lawyer, Michael Alarid, said the evidence presented to the court revealed that the women lied about the abuse and called on the authorities to hand over the communications of at least 8 other people to determine how far what he he called a “plot” spreads.
“Quite frankly the fact that the state is refusing to get any additional social media records is concerning. It’s shocking,” said Mr Alarid. “Based on what we've uncovered so far they should be dismissing several charges. Instead they are digging their heels in and they are refusing to give us anything additional.”
Prosecutor Shawn Jensvold said the records were not in the state's control and cannot be turned over to the defence. He said the Facebook conversation only showed that three of the victims might be involved in a revenge plot, but not the other 10 victims.
“It’s not the state's job to go on a fishing expedition for the defence, which is very clear within the case law,“ he said.
Mr Kost was arrested after the Pinal County Sheriff's Office received a tip accusing him of sexually assaulting five victims. He was charged with two counts of sexual assault and two counts of sexual misconduct with a minor. Detectives later identified eight other girls who said they were sexually abused by Mr Kost.Reuse content