An anonymous message on an online Army wives forum led to the arrest this month of a 20-year-old man accused of sexually assaulting three young girls while babysitting them in El Paso County.
Brandon Alexander Rankins faces 25 felony counts in the alleged abuse, which authorities say started in July.
He is free on a $10,000 bond, court records show.
El Paso County sheriff’s detectives began investigating in December after someone reported an unsigned plea for help in which Rankins was accused of molesting children while babysitting.
The anonymous message was apparently left on an Army wives forum because Rankins is the son of a soldier, court records indicate.
In separate interviews, the children — all under the age of 10 — later described how Rankins coerced them into sex acts.
One girl said he began with “tickle games” before the abuse escalated. He asked her to pose for nude photos, she said.
A 6-year-old boy also told authorities Rankins tried to molest him.
Rankins reportedly lives with his mother; the girls were neighbors.
Detectives in the El Paso, Tex., Police Department are assisting in the investigation because two of the victims have since moved to Texas.
Rankins, who is being represented by a public defender, is due for a court appearance on April 8. The Gazette was unable to reach his attorney.
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