Abuse expert: 'Culture of silence' disturbing after alleged sex - CBS 5 - KPHO

Abuse expert: 'Culture of silence' alarming after alleged sex assaults

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Tyler Kost is accused of sexually assaulting 13 girls in Pinal County. (Source: Pinal County Sheriff's Office) Tyler Kost is accused of sexually assaulting 13 girls in Pinal County. (Source: Pinal County Sheriff's Office)
Jessye Johnson say that in addition to the stigma many sexual assault victims face, pressure to keep what allegedly happened to these young victims may have been amplified. (Source: CBS 5 News) Jessye Johnson say that in addition to the stigma many sexual assault victims face, pressure to keep what allegedly happened to these young victims may have been amplified. (Source: CBS 5 News)
Griffin Goulakos, a freshman at Poston Butte High School, says he's proud the victims of alleged sexual assaults by a classmate have come forward. (Source: CBS 5 News) Griffin Goulakos, a freshman at Poston Butte High School, says he's proud the victims of alleged sexual assaults by a classmate have come forward. (Source: CBS 5 News)
SAN TAN VALLEY, AZ (CBS5) -

Griffin Goulakos is a freshman at Poston Butte High School. He said on the surface it's been a pretty good year.

"We haven't had any fights or anything," said Goulakos.

That's why Monday's arrest of classmate Tyler Kost was so unsettling to students. Kost, a high school senior, is accused of sexually assaulting 13 girls. Pinal County deputies say the youngest victim was 13 years old.

"It was just out of the blue, random," Goulakos said.

"I'm surprised it took someone this long to say anything," said Poston Butte junior Skylar Sullivan.

Jessye Johnson heads up Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence. She refers to what's happened at Poston Butte as a "culture of silence."

Johnson said that in addition to the stigma many sexual assault victims face, pressure to keep what allegedly happened to these young victims may have been amplified.

"They knew him. They went to school with him. So it created a whole new dynamic, a whole new level of fear to come forward," Johnson said.

Students told CBS 5 News the allegations have been tough to hear but support for the victims continues to grow.

"I'm proud of them for coming forward, talking about it and letting someone know because if it kept happening, that's not OK," Goulakos said.

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