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Local News

Santa Barbara Man Facing New Sex Charges Involving Teen

Richard Douglas Box

A Santa Barbara man accused of rape, false imprisonment and other charges involving his wife and stepdaughter is now facing new charges of child molestation in a case that allegedly took place in 2012 with a 13-year-old girl.

Richard Douglas Box, 69, was arrested after police responded last month to a report of a disturbance at Box's home in the 200 block of Las Ondas Drive on the Mesa.

Box turned himself in on Dec. 16, and a sexual-assault investigation commenced.  

He is 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 last month 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.

Last month, a judge denied a bail increase to $5 million, which prosecutors had asked for because they feared 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.

Judge Barry Taylor ruled to keep Box's bail at $2 million, which Box posted and is now out of custody.

Two new felony charges have been added against Box since his last court appearance, including separate charges of child molestation involving a 13-year-old in Long Beach.

Details of that case came out in court in December when Santa Barbara police Detective Brian Larson said he discovered records that accused Box of molesting the girl, who lived in an apartment building he owned in 2012.

Box was arrested in connection with that incident but never convicted.

Last month, Deputy District Attorney Paula Waldman called the Long Beach arrest "more than troubling," and said she thought the case might be looked at again now that there were other alleged victims in Santa Barbara.

Waldman stated that Box had repeatedly raped his wife, and also approached his stepdaughter, saying, "Your mom's not home. Let's have sex.

When the girl refused, Box raced after her and put her in a choke hold, Waldman said.

The wife and stepdaughter are from Thailand and have limited English skills or financial access, hindering their ability to reach out for help against someone like Box, she said.

Waldman expressed concern Friday about the victims' safety now that Box is out of custody.

Box is due back in court Jan. 21 for arraignment.
 
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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