NewsKristin Smart Case


Judge denies motion to add rape charges to criminal complaint against Paul Flores

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Posted at 4:24 PM, Jul 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-14 23:56:31-04

A motion to include two charges of rape allegedly involving women in the Los Angeles area to the criminal complaint against Paul Flores, who is charged with the 1996 murder of Cal Poly student Kristin Smart, was denied by a judge Wednesday.

While the prosecution argued the additional charges should be included in the murder case against Flores, Judge Craig van Rooyen ruled that there would be a spillover effect with that case to the current one. Flores is charged with murdering Kristin Smart during the commission of a rape or attempted rape, but van Rooyen says there is little or no evidence to back the rape allegations.

Wednesday’s hearing for Paul and Ruben Flores, who is charged with being an accessory after the fact, was the first time the father and son have appeared in court in person since their April arrests.

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Ruben Flores appears in a San Luis Obispo courtroom with his attorney, Harold Mesick, on Wednesday, July 14, 2021.

In the courtroom were Smart’s family members and Paul's mother, Susan Flores, along with Paul and Ruben, their defense attorneys, Prosecutor Christopher Peuvrelle, and San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s cold case Detective Clint Cole.

Peuvrelle revealed in court Wednesday that during a search of Flores’s San Pedro home in 2020, investigators discovered Google searches for porn related to drunk girls including "real drunken girls drugged and raped while passed out." According to Peuvrelle, they also found date rape drugs in Paul's home. The alleged victims from the Los Angeles area were on his cell phone and women who investigators say Paul had raped in 2010 also in 2017.

Peuvrelle said four cadaver dogs hit on Flores’s mattress in his Cal Poly dorm room, adding that they believe Smart died in or near his bed back in May of 1996.

The San Luis Obispo County prosecutor stated that the alleged rapes they say have occurred over the years by Paul can be tied to the murder case involving Smart.

“This case is exactly why the legislature passed this law,” he said in court when referencing a previous and similar ruling. “Flores is the poster boy for why this law exists." "Paul Flores likes to drug and rape unconscious women. That's just who he is," he said while alleging the now 44-year-old waits at social functions and targets women who are too drunk and then rapes or attempts to rape them.

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San Luis Obispo County Deputy District Attorney Christopher Peuvrelle speaks before the court during a hearing in the Flores case on Wednesday, July 14, 2021.

Peuvrelle also said Paul created homemade rape videos that were stored on his computer under a file labeled “practice” and called the defendant a serial rapist.

The defense fired back, arguing that there is zero evidence of rape, attempted rape or murder.

“I’m very disappointed in the effort to make an emotional argument instead of facts,” said Paul’s attorney Robert Sanger.

The attorney says investigators have been focusing on Paul since June 6, 1996, saying that’s the date when Paul stopped talking after voluntarily talking to law enforcement prior to that.

Sanger also said there was once a peeping Tom outside Smart’s dorm but that investigation stopped once Paul was named a person-of-interest in Smart’s disappearance.

Sanger claims Smart disappeared on her own, stating she had done so before in Hawaii and also claimed three or more people reported that the college freshman may have been pregnant at the time she disappeared.

Sanger says that on the night of Kristin’s disappearance, Paul, who witnesses say was the last person to be seen with Smart, went to his dorm and Smart went to hers. There’s no evidence she was murdered by anyone, Sanger said.

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Paul Flores with his attorney, Robert Sanger, in a San Luis Obispo courtroom on Wednesday, July 14, 2021.

While the motion to add the rape charges was denied, the judge and both sides did agree that documents previously sealed in the case can now be made public.

The preliminary hearing, set to begin next week, is now scheduled for Aug. 2 at 9 a.m.

That same day, the attorney for Susan Flores, will argue that his client, who was subpoenaed to testify during the hearing, be excused from doing so.

Paul is being held in San Luis Obispo County Jail without bail. Ruben is currently out of custody.