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Neighbors Not Shocked By Realtor’s Arrest

Nothing seemed amiss when Richard Box performed with a men’s choir during the annual Unity telethon. Box was even interviewed on camera during the program.

But three days earlier, police were called to his Las Ondas Drive home where they launched a sexual assault investigation.

Monday, the 69-year-old Realtor turned himself in to police face rape, sexual assault and false imprisonment charges.

During a bail hearing Friday, it was revealed that the alleged victims are his wife and 15-year-old stepdaughter from Thailand.

Box’s neighbor were not shocked or surprised. They had heard female renters living in his home complain that he was a peeping tom. They said they rarely saw his wife and step-daughter leave their Mesa home in Santa Barbara.

Prosecutor Paula Waldman called Box a flight risk and asked for the $2 million bail to be increased to $5 million. Box’s attorney, Steve Balash, wanted bail reduced to $100,000.

A friend testified that Box traveled to Thailand often, but did not own property there.

A pending child molestation case out of Long Beach also came to light. Prosecutors think the Santa Barbara case will lead to a conviction in the Long Beach case, involving the molestation of a 12-year old. Waldman said Box was collecting rent from adult who allowed him to shower at the home where the child lived. During his visits Waldman said he was accused of touching the girl’s private parts while he pleasured himself.

After the hearing, the judge upheld the $2 million bail amount.

Testimony will resume during a preliminary hearing Jan. 3. If convicted on all counts, Box could be sentenced to more than 15 years in prison.

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