- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 18, 2016

PHOENIX (AP) - The sex abuse trial for one of the founders of the Minuteman border-watch movement opened with a prosecutor saying that the leader of the controversial group had an inappropriate love for young girls.

Chris Simcox is charged with molesting a 5-year-old girl and engaging in sexual conduct with a 6-year-old girl.

Opening statements were made Wednesday.

He denies the allegations and says he is angry about the criminal case that has kept him in jail for nearly three years.

Simcox isn’t a lawyer but is nonetheless representing himself.

He told jurors that he has been vilified for his political views.

The Minuteman movement stepped into the spotlight in 2005 as illegal immigration heated up as a political issue, but splintered after Simcox and another co-founder parted ways.

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