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“Minuteman” co-founder pleads not guilty to child molestation

Chris Simcox, co-founder of the Minuteman movement of armed civilians who patrolled the Arizona border looking for undocumented immigrants, has pleaded innocent to charges that he molested three young girls under the age of 10. In court papers, police identified one of the alleged victims as his own daughter.

Simcox, 52, faces two felony counts of molestation of a child, three charges of sexual conduct with a minor and one count of furnishing obscene or harmful materials to a child. According to the Phoenix New Times, Simcox could face life in prison under Arizona law if convicted of a single felony molestation charge.

A former California kindergarten teacher, Simcox in 2005 became the co-founder of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps with Jim Gilchrist, whom he later feuded with. Simcox developed into one of the nativist movement’s most charismatic figures, often affecting the likeness of a tireless vigilante on a lawless border with a pistol tucked into the front of his jeans. But the movement of which he was a part peaked in 2010 and has almost disappearedfrom sight since then.

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