Yesterday in Arizona, far right militia-founder Chris Simcox was sentence to 19.5 years in prison for two counts of molestation of a minor under the age of 10, and one count of furnishing sexual materials to a minor. Simcox was a former kindergarten teacher from California who claimed to be in Arizona to defend America’s border against illegal immigrants. He proved himself to be a disgusting criminal and a danger to vulnerable children, not an emblem of American values.
During the mid 2000s, Simcox headed the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, originally founded by public neo-Nazi J.T. Ready. The Corps was an extra-judicial group that charged itself with the mission of defending the American-Mexican border. Ready himself is dead after murdering his family and committing suicide in an act of domestic violence.
Simcox was accused of sexual contact by two girls aged five and six and subsequently arrested in 2013. The jury found him guilty of all counts relating to the five year old girl, and none relating to the six year old. The great injustice is that Simcox was sentenced to serve the sentences for the two counts of molestation against the five year old concurrently, meaning that he got off with only 19.5 years instead of the warranted 36.5 years.
Simcox conducted part of his trial acting as his own lawyer. He held up legal proceedings by attempting to secure the right to personally cross examine his accusers – the two young girls. In the end, the girls did not have to appear in court. When the five year old girl, who is now nine, was asked by her mother if she wished to make victim impact statement for the sentencing, the girl only said, “He messed with the wrong family.”
After the sentencing, the mother commented that she sees Simcox, “in the same way I would view anybody who did what he did to my child. I’m glad he’s gone.”
The girl’s resilience demonstrates more courage and American spirit than Simcox ever did in his years as a wack-job minuteman. We firmly agree with her mother that the country is better off with this xenophobic pedophile behind bars.
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Marisa completed her undergraduate degree in 2013 at the University of Wisconsin with a double major in creative writing and media studies. She is an advocate of progressive policies and focuses her interests on gender equality and preventing sexual and domestic violence.