52-year-old Chris Simcox, founder of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps
, was arrested on Wednesday morning by Phoenix police.
Simcox was booked into the Maricopa County Jail on two counts of child molestation, two counts of sexual conduct with a minor and one count of attempted child molestation. AZCentral.com reports
that Simcox's three alleged victims were all under the age of 10.
"It is believed these incidents occurred within the past several months," Phoenix police spokesman Sgt. Tommy Thompson told reporters.
Considered something of a hero by many conservatives in Arizona and across the nation, Simcox rose to national prominence after founding the MCDC with neo-Nazi J.T. Ready in 2005. The right-wing militia group patrols the southern part of the state near the Mexican border in an effort to monitor the inflow of undocumented immigrants. But Simcox himself once admitted that the Minutemen had virtually no impact on illegal immigration.
Simcox has spoken throughout the US and has appeared on popular television programs, including Fox News' Hannity & Colmes in 2007. News Hounds reported
back then about allegations that Simcox had molested children.
It has also been alleged that Simcox threatened to kill his family while brandishing a knife, physically abused his toddler son and attempted to sexually molest his 14-year-old daughter while drunk.