Map: Child molestation arrest
PHOENIX -- Phoenix police said the co-founder of the vigilante border group Minuteman Civil Defense Corps was arrested Wednesday morning for allegedly having sexual contact with three young girls.
Police said they arrested Christopher Allen Simcox, 52, in the area of Van Buren Street and 51st Avenue at around 10 a.m.
Police have not released any details about the allegations, saying only that detectives with the Family Investigations Bureau of the Phoenix Police Department had developed probable cause to arrest Simcox. The investigation started on May 29.
According to court paperwork, one of the alleged victims is 5 years old; the other two are 6.
While Simcox said he knew the girls, he denied the allegations, telling police "... there was never any inappropriate touching."
"Christopher believed these allegations were coming from his ex-wife," according to court documents. "There were no admissions by Chris Simcox."
He was booked into jail 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. Because of the nature of the charges, Simcox is being held without bail.
This is not the first time Simcox has faced allegations of sexual abuse. Court paperwork indicates that similar accusations were leveled by woman who told investigators about two incidents that happened in Los Angeles when she was 14.
Simcox said there was an investigation in L.A. He also said that the now-30-year-old eventually recanted statements she made to police.
Simcox has been hailed as a hero of the anti-immigration movement. He routinely led patrols along the U.S. border with Mexico, and even testified before Congress.
Simcox also has made numerous appearances on CNN and Fox News.
A status conference is scheduled for June 26, followed by a preliminary hearing June 28.