A 28-year-old Mesa del Caballo man faces five counts of child molestation following his arrest Friday.
The man remained in custody Monday afternoon at the Gila County Jail in Globe in lieu of a $50,000 bond.
According to Gila County Sheriff's investigators, the first molestation was reported after one of the victims told her father what the suspect had done. The father then contacted the sheriff's department, and the investigation began.
Detectives said another girl recently reported the incident to a school counselor. During the investigation, detectives found four more alleged victims, ranging in age from 13 to 17 years old.
"We couldn't just go out and arrest the guy," said Det. George Ratliff. "You have to have some kind of story. Once we got that, we went out and got the arrest warrants."
Detectives said the alleged molestations were reported to have been going on for at least a year. All of the victims lived in the same general area as the suspect.
The suspect's preliminary hearing has been set for 9:30 a.m., Feb. 23 in the Payson Justice Court. Detectives said the suspect confessed to the crimes. They said he told them he didn't want to put the victims through a court trial.