PHOENIX—Christopher Simcox (11/29/1960) was sentenced today to 19.5 years in the Department of Corrections for two counts of molestation of a child and one count of furnishing obscene materials to a minor. He was convicted on June 8, 2016.
“The defendant committed unconscionable acts against a young child, the emotional and psychological effects of which she’ll have to deal with her entire life,” said County Attorney Bill Montgomery. “Today’s sentence won’t take back the harm he has done, but it removes the opportunity for him to prey on another child.”
Between April 21, 2012, and May 23, 2013, during scheduled parental visits with his daughters, the defendant sexually molested the five-year-old friend of his six-year-old daughter. On occasion, he showed sexually explicit films to the girl. The friend told her mother of the abuse and reported it to law enforcement. After police learned that the defendant had two daughters of his own, they contacted the mother of the girls. The eldest girl admitted that the he engaged in sexual conduct with her as well, but Simcox was found not guilty of that charge.
Simcox represented himself throughout the entire trial and, initially, he sought to question the young victims himself. Prosecutors fought to prevent it by taking various actions in appellate courts, leading to filing a petition before the U.S. Supreme Court. During this time, prosecutors held a supplementary evidentiary hearing—bringing in a nationally-recognized expert—to address the trauma it would cause the victims to have their own abuser question them.
Ultimately the defendant backed down from his insistence on personally carrying out the cross-examination of his victims and allowed his advisory attorney to question the victims. Even though the issue is now moot in this case, it is still pending before the U.S. Supreme Court because of its legal significance.