An 18-year-old Pennsylvania teen is being held on $5 million bail after being charged with raping and sexually assaulting multiple underage girls.
Joshua Benson was arraigned at a Bucks County court Thursday morning on charges that he raped two young girls.
Authorities say the Bensalem, Pa., native also violently sexually assaulted five other girls over a five-month time period when he was under the age of 18. All of the victims were between the ages of 14 and 16, officials said.
Benson is originally from Utah and moved to the area about three years ago -- shortly before the alleged assaults began, officials said.
Benson, who cursed at reporters on his way into court on Thursday, met some of his victims on a dating website and others through friends, authorities confirm. They say the teen would befriend the girls and make them trust him before violently forcing himself on them.
"Once he befriended them and gained trust in them where they agreed to have a very short-term relationship with him. Once he began engaging in sexual contact it immediately turned violent," Bensalem Police Sgt. Andrew Aninsman said.
The most recent victims say they were forced to perform sex acts in the basement of a town home along Arrowwood Drive in Bensalem, officials said.
The 18-year-old had been locked up in a juvenile detention center on charges he assaulted the five girls while he was underage. Now, he has been transferred to the Bucks County Prison.
Police believe there are many more victims and are urging them to come forward.
"We do believe there are many other victims out there and if you see this, and your gut is wrenching as to what happened to you, pick up the phone and call Bensalem Police and we will make sure that we do everything in our power to make sure you get justice," said Aninsman.
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