Sunday, February 7 , 2016, 9:15 pm | Fair 56º

Child-Molestation Suspect Arrested at LAX

By Lara Cooper, Noozhawk Staff Writer | @laraanncooper | updated logo |

Michael Norris
Michael Norris

A man accused of sexually abusing a child in Santa Barbara County over several years was arrested Thursday night at Los Angeles International Airport shortly after his plane from Costa Rica touched down, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department..

Michael Norris, 67, formerly of Carpinteria, is charged with multiple counts of child molestation, including but not limited to continual sexual abuse of a minor, contact with a minor with the intent to commit sexual abuse, distributing and producing pornography to a child, and aggravated sexual assault of a child under 14 years of age, according to sheriff’s spokeswoman Kelly Hoover.

An investigation began in February 2012 involving allegations that Norris had sexually abused a minor from 2003 to 2006 while he lived in Carpinteria, Hoover said.

She said Norris moved to the farm town of Quepos, Costa Rica, in 2006, and a warrant was issued for his arrest in December 2012.

When Norris learned of the warrant, he agreed to return to Santa Barbara County and negotiated his surrender with sheriff’s investigators.

The arrest was a coordinated effort between investigators from the sheriff’s Felony Fugitives and Criminal Investigative Divisions and U.S. officials in Costa Rica who assisted in monitoring Norris’ whereabouts and ensuring he boarded the plane.

Norris was on a direct flight from Costa Rica on Thursday when sheriff’s investigators, along with FBI and U.S. Customs agents, boarded the plane and took him into custody.

He was transported to the Santa Barbara County Jail, where he was booked and was being held on $200,000 bail.

An arraignment date has not been set, Hoover said.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

» on 02.15.13 @ 08:35 PM

Good work SBSO!

» on 02.16.13 @ 11:46 AM

Lock the rabid animal up and throw away the key.

» on 02.20.13 @ 08:19 PM

Some linking to your editorial are erroneously affiliating Norris with various Religious Groups. To be clear, Norris was a Former Elder with the Jehovah’s Wintesses Organization.

there are many complaints from Jehovahs Witnesses already about this case. Of course they will attempt to spin this story claiming Norris was not a “Jehovah’s Witness”. The reality is Norris was a high profile elder in Carpinteria for many years during the time he perpetrated the molestations. Before moving to Costa Rica he “stepped down” from serving as an Elder but still was a very active rank & file JW in the Quepos Congregation. In July 2011, when the victim confronted him with the allegations of abuse, he immediately got on a plane back to Costa Rica fearful of repercussions from Law Enforcement should anyone report to the police.
His wife, his daughter and the Carpinteria Congregation all knew of the abuse but failed to contact authorities. When one estranged parent learned of the abuse 8 months later(victim had become distraught that nothing was being done) law enforcement was immediately contacted and the police and the investigation began February 2012.

During that time, Norris “disassociated” himself from the Jehovahs Witness Organization via personal letter through the Quepos Congregation. He also separated from his wife. Quepos Elders were at that time aware of the abuse allegations but they too failed to contact authorities.

Norris attempted to divert attention from the Jehovahs Witnesses Organization and their culpability for years of allowing him to function unabated as a molester while an Elder in the Carpinteria Congregation. This of course is a failed strategy.

Despite Norris’ official step to “disassociate” from the Jehovah’s Witnesses, he still regularly attended the Quepos Congregation meetings. Even up to as recent as 2 months ago.
Jehovah’s Witnesses practice “shunning” of those who leave or are expelled from the Congregation. This does not prevent those individuals from attending their meetings. There is simply no communication or interaction with the shunned “sinner”. It is hoped that eventually the “sinner” will repent and eventually be “reinstated” as a member in “good standing” within the congregation again. Norris was attempting to achieve this reinstatement believing that forgiveness from the elders for his abuses would clear him totally. He did not believe that law enforcement would be contacted or that they would seek to prosecute him while he was hiding in Costa Rica.

Unfortunately this is the reality that most pedophiles within the Jehovahs Witness organization enjoy. They are simply never reported to law enforcement as a way for the Witnesses to protect their image. Because of the Witnesses strict adherance to their “two witnesses to the molestation” policy, thousands of pedophiles go unchecked within their Kingdom Halls and continue to rape and molest children.

As illustration of these conditions creating a pedophile paradise, you can review the Candace Conti vs Watchtower Sex Abuse Case. 28 million was awarded to her last year. Case is in appeal at present.
There have been hundreds of similar JW sex abuse cases settled out of court for many millions of dollars.
And at present there are dozens of active cases just like Conti in courts around the world.
Please see:

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