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PHOENIX -- A Feb. 27 trial has been set for a founder of the Minuteman border-watch movement on charges that he sexually abused two girls under the age of 10.

Christopher Allen Simcox, 52, is charged with child molestation, sexual conduct with a minor and furnishing obscene or harmful items to minors.

Simcox had denied the abuse allegations during a police interview and has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The Minuteman movement stepped into the spotlight in 2005 as illegal immigration heated up as a national political issue. Minuteman volunteers fanned out along the nation's southern border to watch for illegal crossings and report them to federal agents.

But the movement splintered after Simcox and a co-founder parted ways and headed up separate groups.

Associated Press,

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