Five documents and a total of 80 pages reveal new details of the case
SAN LUIS OBISPO — On Wednesday, Jul. 14, Paul and Ruben Flores presented in court in person for a motion hearing for the first time since their arrest on Apr. 13.
Paul Flores (44) is charged with the murder of Kristin Smart. His father, Ruben Flores (80), is charged with accessory after the fact.
The father and son are charged in connection to the 1996 disappearance and murder of Cal Poly student Kristin Smart.
Smart’s remains have yet to be recovered.
The two appeared in court for a motion hearing scheduled at 1:30 p.m. to amend the criminal complaint.
The hearing was not live-streamed but was open to the public and media to attend in person.
Present in the courtroom was the Smart Family, Susan Flores, Paul, and Ruben Flores, their defense attorneys Harold Mesick and Robert Sanger, Deputy District Attorney Chris Peurvelle, and SLO County Sheriff’s Office cold case detective Clint Cole.
The People filed a motion to add two alleged rape charges against Paul Flores. The charges involve two women in Los Angeles County, one in 2010 and another in 2017. Neither case was reported when the crime took place.
The prosecution argued Paul Flores exhibits the same M.O. (Modus Operandi) in all his crimes—targets women who are too drunk or drugged, takes them home, and rapes them.
There was an additional request to add three more alleged rape victims of Paul Flores to the case.
Chris Peurvelle, San Luis Obispo County Deputy District Attorney representing the People, stated investigators found on Paul Flores’ hard drives Google searches for “real drunken girls drugged and raped while passed out” and more.
Peurvelle added date rape drugs were found in Paul Flores’ San Pedro home in 2020. Homemade rape videos of Paul Flores were found on his computer in a file named “practice.”
“Flores likes to drug and rape unconscious women. That’s just who he is,” said Peurvelle.
The defense argued back 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 Sanger, Paul Flores’ attorney.
Sanger argued there was a once a “Peeping Tom” outside Smart’s dorm and an ex-boyfriend who set Smart’s shoes on fire and left them on her doorstep but stopped looking into other suspects when Paul Flores was named the prime suspect.
The defense also said Smart had previously used four different aliases and disappeared before while in Hawaii and claimed three or more people reported Smart might have been pregnant when she disappeared.
Later, Judge Van Rooyen denied The People’s amended complaint to add any of the rape victims to the charges against Paul Flores.
Judge Van Rooyen ruled there would be a spillover effect from the other rape charges in this case. He stated Paul Flores is charged with the murder of Kristin Smart during rape or attempted rape but said there is little or no evidence to back the rape allegations.
All parties in the court agreed to unseal the documents related to the motion hearing.
Five documents and a total of 80 pages reveal new details of the case.
On Jun. 25, the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office received a letter from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office granting permission to prosecute two counts of rape in the local jurisdiction.
The documents claim that in 2011 and 2017 in the City of San Pedro, Paul Flores raped two women while they were drunk.
The defense filed an opposition, saying the new rape charges were a publicity stunt and that there is no new substantive evidence tying Paul Flores to the disappearance of Kristin Smart since the initial investigation.
Attorney Robert Sanger goes on to say, “this may more accurately be characterized as adding weak but sensational counts to a weak or nonexistent murder case.”
Within the prosecution 43 page response to the defense’s opposition to amending the motion was a detailed account of the case dating back to the mid-1990s.
A student-athlete and another resident at Muir Hall stated he and Smart confided in one another. He confirmed that he saw Paul Flores in Smart’s room a few times around February or March 1996. He also confirmed Paul Flores had been following Smart and “lurking” around the Muir Hall dorm rooms.
According to the document, in 2001, the FBI conducted an undercover operation in which Paul Flores admitted he helped pick Smart up off the floor and that she weighed approximately 140 pounds.
Later, authorities had the Flores family’s phone wires tapped, and in January 2020, Susan Flores was speaking to Paul Flores over the phone, saying, “…the other thing I need you to do is to start listening to the podcast. I need you to listen to everything they say so we can punch holes in it. Um, wherever we can punch holes. Maybe we can’t. You, you’re the one that can tell me…”
Paul Flores didn’t respond to his mother Susan’s statement, according to the document.
Within the prosecution’s response were twenty-three additional victims of Paul Flores. Some of the assaults date back prior to Kristin Smart’s disappearance.
Many of the women claim they were drugged and raped by Paul Flores, according to the records.
During the Feb. 4, 2020 search of Paul’s home in San Pedro, authorities seized prescriptions for Tramadol and Flexeril—both confirmed to be “date rape drugs.”
According to the records, only a few days after the February 2020 search of Ruben’s home at 710 White Court, a neighbor saw Susan Flores and her boyfriend Mike McConville trying to back an enclosed trailer into the backyard near the back porch.
Ruben and Susan Flores were seen arguing in the front yard.
Then on the Mar. 15 search of Ruben Flore’s home on White Court, the record indicates human blood was found under the porch behind the lattice in disturbed soil.
The preliminary hearing is on schedule to begin on Aug. 2 at 8:30 a.m. and, according to Judge Van Rooyen, could last until Aug. 20.