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Women say suspect in Kristin Smart's death abused them

By AP | Jul 17, 2021

FILE - This file photo shows a missing person poster provided by the FBI seeking information in the 1996 disappearance of California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, student Kristin Smart. A judge has denied a prosecutor's bid to file rape charges against the man accused of killing Smart, who went missing 25 years ago. The San Luis Obispo district attorney's office said that on Wednesday, July 14, 2021, it sought to add two rape charges for offenses after Smart disappeared to the complaint filed against Paul Flores in Smart's death. The judge ruled against the DA's motion. Flores was the last person seen with Smart on May 25, 1996, at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. Her body has never been found. (FBI via AP, File)

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (AP) — More than two dozen women described disturbing and dangerous encounters — including sexual assaults while they were semi-conscious and felt drugged — with the man charged with killing missing California college student Kristin Smart.

Incidents with Paul Flores ranged from creepy stalking to unwanted touching to aggressive sexual behavior to, more recently, being drugged and raped after meeting him at bars, according to a document unsealed Wednesday in San Luis Obispo County Superior Court.

Flores was referred to as “Chester the molester” and “psycho Paul,” former fellow college students said.

The summary of the case by Deputy District Attorney Christopher Peuvrelle was part of a failed effort to add two rape counts to the criminal complaint charging Paul Flores, 44, with murder in Smart’s death. His father, Ruben Flores, is charged as an accessory after murder over allegedly helping dispose of her body. Both have pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors allege Paul Flores killed Smart during a rape attempt and the additional charges were intended to bolster their case by showing he is a sexual predator and providing a motive for the killing. However, a judge rejected the bid to amend the complaint, saying evidence to support an allegation of rape in Smart’s death was thin.

Defense lawyer Robert Sanger accused the prosecutor of staging a publicity stunt and said the proposed additional charges only add innuendo and speculation.

“The actual evidence in the case relating to Kristin Smart’s disappearance is no different than existed in the 1990s,” Sanger said in court papers. “The evidence then and now is based on speculation and not proof of facts.”

Paul Flores was the last person seen with Smart on May 25, 1996, at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, where they were freshmen. Prosecutors said he killed Smart while trying to rape her in his dorm room after walking her home from a party, where she had gotten intoxicated.

Her body has never been found, though prosecutors said they believe it was buried behind Ruben Flores’ house in nearby Arroyo Grande before it was recently unearthed and moved.

The document reveals that investigators discovered human blood under the deck at Ruben Flores’ house during a search that led to the arrest warrants. The blood was found by archeologists in an area roughly the size of a casket where soil had been disturbed as if a body had been dug up, Peuvrelle said.

The document outlines the case against Paul Flores and provides a preview of what prosecutors plan to present Aug. 2 during a preliminary hearing that will determine if the son and father are ordered to stand trial.

Investigators have compiled statements by 29 women who reported that Paul Flores had either peeped on them, stalked them, or had assaulted or raped them or friends.

Police searching Paul Flores’ home in the San Pedro section of Los Angeles found a hard drive labeled “practice” that included videos of him having sex with women who appeared to be drifting in and out of consciousness. He had also searched on his computer for: “Real Drunken Girls — Drugged and Raped While Passed Out.”

Prescriptions that could be used as date rape dugs were also found.

“Paul Flores is a defendant who likes to rape and drug intoxicated women,” Peuvrelle said at a hearing Wednesday, according to the Tribune of San Luis Obispo. “That’s who he is.”

Four women said Flores had raped them after they met him at bars in Los Angeles County. Each suspected they had been drugged.

One woman who met Flores at Godmother’s bar in San Pedro said she doesn’t remember going home with him but awoke while he was having sex with her. As she slipped in and out of consciousness, she tried phoning a friend. But the friend couldn’t understand her and she passed out again.

Although San Luis Obispo prosecutors were barred from bringing rape charges, the Los Angeles district attorney could decide to charge Flores because the alleged crimes happened there.