June 20, 2013— -- Chris Simcox, co-founder of the Minuteman border watch movement, was arrested Wednesday morning for allegedly having sexual contact with three young girls. Phoenix police booked Simcox on two counts of molestation of a child, two counts of sexual conduct with a minor, and one count of attempted molestation of a child.
Simcox, 52, co-founded the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, an armed volunteer group who assigned themselves the task of securing the southwest border. The group’s mission was to prevent “the unlawful and unauthorized entry of all individuals, contraband, and foreign military” in to the U.S.
Phoenix police spokesman Sgt. Tommy Thompson told Phoenix-based ABC 15 that authorities “developed probable cause to believe Simcox had sexual conduct with the girls, all under the age of ten.” ABC 15 reports Simcox has denied the allegations.
Before he founded the Minutemen, Simcox had a long history of working with children. In a 2006 USA Today profile, Simcox explained his first job was at a "a very bad high school in South Central L.A." Simcox then moved to work at a private elementary school where he taught kindergarten through third grade for 13 years before becoming a private tutor.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate-group activities, points out Simcox has been accused of child molestation before. His first ex-wife, Deborah Crews, accused him of pedophilia in 1998. "He tried to molest our daughter when he was intoxicated," Crews told the SPLC. "When she ran out, he tried to say he was just giving her a leg massage and she got the wrong idea.”