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Child Molester Surrenders at LAX
updated: Feb 15, 2013, 2:12 PM

Source: Santa Barbara Sheriff's Department

Alleged Child Molester in Custody: Michael Norris Surrenders at LAX

When 67 year old Michael Norris landed at the Los Angeles International Airport on a direct flight from Costa Rica late last night, he knew Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Detectives were waiting for him.

Sheriff's Investigators, along with FBI and United States Customs agents, boarded the plane and took Norris into custody. Norris, who had a warrant for his arrest in Santa Barbara County on multiple counts of child molestation charges surrendered to authorities without incident. Norris was transported to the Santa Barbara County jail where he was booked and is being held on $200,000 bail.

The arrest was a coordinated effort between investigators from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Felony Fugitives and Criminal Investigative Divisions and United States officials in Costa Rica who assisted in monitoring Norris' whereabouts and ensuring he boarded the plane.

The arrest follows an investigation that began in February of 2012 involving allegations that Norris had sexually abused a minor over the course of several years during the time he lived in Carpinteria. Norris moved to the farm town of Quepos, Costa Rica in 2006. A warrant was issued for his arrest in December of 2012. When Norris learned of the warrant he agreed to return to Santa Barbara County and negotiated his surrender with Sheriff's investigators.

Norris 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.

An arraignment date has not been set.

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Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 374799P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 02:45 PM

What's up with all the child molesters around here lately?


 COMMENT 374807P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 03:03 PM

They've always been around. It just gets reported and pursued now.


 COMMENT 374813 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 03:14 PM

Huh. Kinda surprised he cooperated so well.


 COMMENT 374827 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 03:30 PM

Yeah 813... I was kind of thinking the same thing. Makes you wonder what is the other side of the story.


 COMMENT 374830 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 03:35 PM

Sometimes people are cognizant of the terrible things they have done.

Or maybe he was tired of living in some podunk village in Costa Rica.


 COMMENT 374853 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 04:03 PM

Weird, why is this written like a newspaper epic?


 COMMENT 374878 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 05:31 PM

@853: because someone at the SO is paid a six digit salary to produce these things that make the department appear as though it functions occasionally.


 COMMENT 374892P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 06:41 PM

Maybe he has an expensive illness and wants free treatment. Won't be the first time that has happened.


 COMMENT 374899 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 07:05 PM

Wait to hear the rest of the story before you make judgements


 COMMENT 374995P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-16 08:42 AM

Ditto maybe there is more to the story... because otherwise, why would he so willingly come back from Costa Rica? Unless the guilt was eating at him. Hmm


 COMMENT 375013 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-16 09:53 AM

It should be illegal to publish this information until there is a conviction. This guys life is now ruined, even if innocent.


 COMMENT 375046 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-16 11:28 AM

I never liked Walker Texas Ranger!


 COMMENT 375191 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-16 06:54 PM

Didn't Muhammad marry a six-year-old girl? Apparently they waited three years to consummate their marriage.



 COMMENT 376763 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-20 04:11 PM

Distict Attorneys do not pursue molestation cases that they are not confident they can successfully prosecute. That said Bail has been Revoked. Trial Setting begins 2/25.

Norris has been erroneously affiliated with various religious organizations on the internet. To be clear, he was a member of the Jehovah's Witnesses.

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.


 COMMENT 377297 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-21 08:49 PM

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 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 and was a failed strategy.


 COMMENT 501541 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-10 12:08 PM

On approximately February 14,2013, the Felony Fugitive-Michael Johnson Norris was extradited to the United States through the co-operation of the United States Embassy, the State Department, Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Investigators and Costa Rican Officials.

On February 27, 2014, a year later, Norris was sentenced in Santa Barbara County Superior Court to 3 years in WASCO State Prison under the terms of a plea deal offered to him by the State of California.

Because of jail time credits during the prosecution, the convicted sexual offender, Michael Johnson Norris, will be paroled in only a matter of months if he survives his prison stay.


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