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Local News

Child-Molestation Suspect Arrested at LAX

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.

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