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Minuteman group founder sentenced to prison in molestation case

Posted at 11:10 AM, Jul 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-11 14:20:05-04

A founder of the Minuteman border-watch group was sentenced to 19.5 years in prison on charges that he molested a 5-year-old girl and showed her pornography, KGUN9 sister station KNXV reports.

Chris Simcox faced a 10- to 24-year prison sentence on his molestation convictions, but he escaped a mandatory life sentence when a jury in early June acquitted him on charges that he engaged in sexual conduct with a 6-year-old girl.

On Monday, Judge Jose Padilla of Maricopa County Superior Court sentenced Simcox to two 17-year sentences for child molestation, to run concurrent, plus two and a half years for furnishing obscene materials to minors.

An attorney who assisted Simcox at trial initially said the 55-year-old would still likely spend the rest of his life in prison, given Arizona's tough sentencing guidelines on molestation convictions.