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Sex-Crimes Suspect Accused of Violating Restraining Order

A Santa Barbara man accused of rape, false imprisonment and child molestation was arrested Friday at a waterfront restaurant after police said he violated restraining orders of three victims.

Richard Douglas Box (Santa Barbara Police Department photo)
Richard Douglas Box (Santa Barbara Police Department photo)

Richard Douglas Box, 69, was arrested by Santa Barbara police for the second time in four months at 12:04 p.m. Friday while he was having lunch with a companion at Brophy Bros. in the Santa Barbara Harbor area, according to Sgt. Riley Harwood.

Box was first arrested in December 2013 after police responded to a report of a disturbance at Box's home in the 200 block of Las Ondas Drive on the Mesa.

A sexual-assault investigation commenced, resulting in Box facing charges of assault with the intent to commit certain felonies, false imprisonment by force, rape, intimidation of a witness or victim by force, assault with a deadly weapon, peeping with a concealed camera, battery and violation of a court order.

Details in court revealed that the investigation surrounds alleged crimes against Box's wife and his 15-year-old stepdaughter.

He has entered not-guilty pleas to the charges and was released on $2 million bail, despite the concerns of prosecutor Paula Waldman, who said Box could be a flight risk since he is alleged to own property in Thailand, and that he might harm the alleged victims if he is released.

Box is also facing separate charges of child molestation involving a 13-year-old in Long Beach who lived in an apartment building he owned in 2012. Box was arrested in connection with that incident but never convicted.

Harwood said the investigation had been going on for a while before Friday's arrest.

On March 7, Crimes Against Persons Detective Brian Larsen obtained a $1 million warrant for Box's arrest for crimes of violating of a domestic violence restraining order. That violation stems from the Santa Barbara case of his wife and stepdaughter, when a Santa Barbara Superior Court Judge ordered Box to stay 500 yards away from their Mesa residence as well as the women on Dec. 18.

Box is also charged with violating another restraining order issued on Jan. 3 forbidding him to get within 500 yards of the Long Beach apartment and the young girl who lives at the location.

Harwood said on or around Jan. 24, Box violated the court order at the Long Beach location, and on Feb. 15 he violated the restraining order in Santa Barbara.

That prompted Larsen to obtain arrest warrant on March 7, Harwood said, and a search warrant was also issued for Box's cell phone and records.

On Friday, Santa Barbara narcotics detectives were at the harbor on unrelated business and happened to see Box, Harwood said.

Larsen responded and contacted Box, who attempted to hand his cell phone off to his companion, who eventually turned it over to Larsen, Harwood said.

When questioned about whether the phone would show Box had been at the Long Beach location, Box responded that "he might have loaned his phone to a friend that went down to Long Beach," Harwood said.

Box was booked at the Santa Barbara County Jail on $1 million bail.

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.

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