Minuteman co-founder loses appeal in molestation case

Posted: Updated:
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (AP) -

A co-founder of the Minuteman border watch group has lost an appeal of his 2016 convictions for molesting a 5-year-old girl and showing her pornography.

The Arizona Court of Appeals' ruling Tuesday upholds Chris Simcox's convictions and 19-year prison sentence.

[READ MORE: Former AZ Minuteman gets 19.5 years for child molestation]

The ruling says a Maricopa County Superior Court judge failed to make a necessary finding regarding evidence against Simcox but said the failure didn't prejudice Simcox or warrant reversal.

Simcox's 2013 arrest came after his career as an advocate for tougher immigration policies had fizzled.

[RELATED: Trial set for Minuteman founder on child molestation charges]

The Minuteman movement gained attention in 2005 when illegal immigration heated up as a national political issue. Minuteman volunteers fanned out along the border to watch for illegal crossings and report them to federal agents.

The movement splintered after Simcox and another co-founder parted ways.

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