Minuteman founder denied bail on abuse allegations

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX (AP) -- A founder of the Minuteman border-watch movement was denied bail after his arrest in Arizona on allegations that he sexually abused three young girls over the last several months.

Christopher Allen Simcox, 52, denied all of the abuse allegations during a police interview. He has been accused of victimizing two 6-year-olds and a 5-year-old.

Simcox was denied bailed by Maricopa County Court Commissioner Barbara Ann Hamner late Wednesday night because he was suspected of sexually abusing children younger than 15. Such allegations make Simcox ineligible for bail in Arizona.

Simcox was booked on two counts of child molestation, two counts of sexual conduct with a minor and one count of attempted child molestation.

It's unclear whether Simcox has a lawyer. No lawyer was listed for Simcox in court records.

The Minuteman movement stepped into the spotlight in 2005 as illegal immigration heated up as a national political issue and Minuteman volunteers fanned out along the nation's southern border to watch for illegal crossings and report them to federal agents.

But the movement splintered after Simcox and co-founder Jim Gilchrist parted ways and headed up separate groups.

Simcox, who once served as publisher of the Tombstone Tumbleweed newspaper, went on to briefly enter Arizona's 2010 U.S. Senate primary against incumbent John McCain but dropped out of the race. His name didn't appear on the ballot.

In 2004, Simcox was sentenced two years of probation for misdemeanor convictions in federal court for carrying a concealed loaded handgun at the Coronado National Memorial near the Arizona-Mexico border in January 2003.