Longform

Chris Simcox's Life Arc Mirrors the Nativist Movement's Demise

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During an interview with police, Simcox denied Alena's allegations.

Investigators referred the case to the County Attorney's Office for prosecution on a charge of misconduct involving weapons, but Simcox never was prosecuted. Though Alena's 8-year-old son by a previous marriage seemed to back up some of Alena's story, it mostly became her word against his, and her photos of the signs of physical abuse were several months old.

The charges of spousal abuse pale in comparison to the current charges against Simcox: six felony counts involving child molestation and sexual conduct with minors.

His accusers were three girls under 10, one of them his daughter, and the other two children of neighbors, play-pals of his kids.

Each of the children was forensically interviewed by police at the nonprofit anti-child abuse foundation Childhelp, according to a probable-cause statement authored by a Phoenix police officer on file with the court.

One child described Simcox's showing her on his computer movies in which "the boy puts his private inside the girl's private."

The child described Simcox molesting her over her clothes, "going back and forth on her private . . . with his hand."

Another victim says Simcox bribed her with candy to show him her underwear and her genitals. (Charges related to this victim apparently have been dropped.)

Simcox's child said her father put his finger inside her vagina while she was showering with her sister.

When police confronted Simcox, he denied the children's accusations, saying he believed they were "coming from his ex-wife."

But parents of two of the victims did not know Alena. And her child was not the first to report the abuse. Rather it was a playmate of one of Simcox and Alena's children.

"Christopher mentioned that he is very careful in regards to being around the kids," reads the probable-cause statement. "He doesn't even let his daughters shower at his house."

This is not the first time Simcox faced such allegations. In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Report revealed allegations of sexual abuse by the daughter of his first ex-wife. (Simcox has three former spouses.)

After reading the allegations online, Phoenix police contacted Simcox's now-adult daughter, who repeated the allegations against her father, alleging that he molested her on two occasions during visits to see him in Los Angeles when she was 14.

One of the incidents she described involved Simcox's giving the girl a back rub that led to his rubbing "the outside of her vaginal area for about 10 seconds," before she overcame her shock and yelled at him to stop.

Simcox said he was sorry and "not to tell anyone about this," the daughter reported. She said he had been "drunk on red wine" when the molestation occurred.

She claimed her dad "did drugs and drank" during her stay at his home. And she accused him of physically abusing her and her brother.

Her brother was "manhandled and punched and slapped in the face," she said. And her father grabbed her by the throat, she said, one time elbowing her and breaking her nose.

Simcox told Phoenix cops that the allegations were investigated at the time by the Los Angeles Police Department and that his daughter recanted.

Unmentioned in the PPD's probable-cause statement are the allegations by Simcox's second ex-wife, Kim Dunbar.

When called a racist because of his anti-immigration antics, Simcox sometimes defended himself by pointing out that his second ex-wife is African-American and their son together is biracial.

But Dunbar, too, had complaints against Simcox, first reported in the 2005 Intelligence Report article by former New Times staff writers Susy Buchanan and David Holthouse.

Holthouse and Buchanan obtained the Dunbar-Simcox divorce paperwork, wherein Dunbar discussed abusive behavior by Simcox that sounds eerily familiar to Alena's allegations.

"He once took a knife and threatened to kill himself," Dunbar testified during their divorce proceedings. "When he was angry, he broke furniture, car windows; he banged his head against the wall repeatedly and punched things."

And people. Dunbar said Simcox once slapped their 4-year-old son so hard that a mark remained on the child's face for two days.

Dunbar asked Simcox to seek mental-health treatment, but he refused and she divorced him.

Simcox always said allegations of physical and sexual abuse were not true and that he never was charged with a crime.

Even regarding the current charges against him, Simcox remains defiant, pleading not guilty to all counts. (Simcox refused New Times' request for a jailhouse interview.)

And when, during a recent hearing, prosecutor Yigael Cohen told the judge there was a plea deal on the table, Simcox shook his head no, suggesting that he would rather force a trial that would require his young accusers to take the stand.

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons