Bill Montgomery's Ex-Ally Chris Simcox May Score Plea Deal in Child Molestation Case
MCDC Bill Montgomery, minuteman enthusiast, speaking at an MCDC event near the border in 2006
At a pretrial conference Wednesday before Commissioner Virginia Richter, deputy county attorney Yigael Cohen signaled that the Maricopa County Attorney's Office will be offering a plea deal in the case of former minuteman leader Chris Simcox.
Simcox, 52, was arrested June 19, and is currently being held nonbondable on six felony counts related to child molestation and sexual conduct with minors under the age of 10.
Initially, the allegations involved three kindergarten-aged girls, one of them his own daughter. (Simcox was a kindergarten teacher in Los Angeles, before his move to Arizona.)
Since his arrest, the prosecution has dropped one victim -- a little girl Simcox allegedly bribed with candy to show him her underwear. Now, the other two victims in the case, each of whom say they were molested by Simcox, may be denied the justice they deserve.
The prosecutor did not describe the plea offer to the court. In fact, he said he still had to write it up for review by the defense.
And, significantly, at the mention of a plea deal, Simcox, who was standing in the jury box in stripes and shackles, shook his head, as if to reject the offer out of hand.
On any one of the class 2 felonies he's charged with, Simcox could receive life in prison, if found guilty.
And if he does not receive life, any time Simcox draws on the separate counts would have to be served consecutively. The possible sentencing range for one count is 13 to 27 years.
That's assuming he will remain charged with those separate class 2 felonies, and is found or pleads guilty.
After the hearing, outside the courtroom, I saw the prosecutor speaking with Michelle Lynch, the mother of one of Simcox's victims.
Lynch was in tears and very upset. I overheard what the prosecutor had to say to her.
"I will let your views be known," he said at one point before rushing off. "It's not set in stone."
Lynch declined comment for this report.
Whatever the plea offer is, based on Lynch's reaction to it, we can assume it is not good for the victims.