Court documents unsealed on Tuesday in the 25-year-old Kristin Smart murder case revealed details from the investigation, including the discovery of sexually graphic videos at Paul Flores’ San Pedro home and human blood found in the the soil around Ruben Flores’ residence in Arroyo Grande.
The filings are related to a request by Deputy District Attorney Christopher Peuvrelle to add two counts of drugged rape to charges against Paul Flores, 44, who is charged with murder in the disappearance of the 19-year-old Cal Poly freshman. Smart disappeared May 25, 1996, and was declared legally dead in 2002. Her body has not been found.
Ruben Flores, 80, Paul Flores’ father, has been charged with accessory to murder after the fact and is accused of helping his son hide Smart’s body. Both men were arrested on April 13 and charged on April 14.
They made their first in-person court appearance in the case on Wednesday, and have pleaded not guilty to all charges.
A judge on Wednesday denied a request by the prosecution to charge Paul Flores, who accused of killing Cal Poly student Kristin Smart, with rape.
Prosecutors filed their request on June 25 and sought to include evidence of rapes that Paul Flores allegedly committed in Los Angeles County years after Smart’s disappearance, in order to support their theory that Flores killed Smart while he tried to rape her.
San Luis Obispo County Superior Court Judge Craig Van Rooyen ultimately denied the two rape charges, citing the possibility that the evidence could unfairly influence a jury. He did, however, unseal more than 80 pages related to the prosecution’s request, despite the objections of Bob Sanger, Paul Flores’ attorney. Sanger argued the press coverage of the sensitive information alone could also prejudice a jury.
Sanger said there was no evidence Smart was murdered or raped, accused prosecutors of puling a publicity stunt and called the evidence speculative.
“This has been an effort to focus on Paul Flores for 25 years,” Sanger said, adding that none of the evidence points to the rape and murder of Smart. “You don’t convict someone by dirtying them up, that’s not allowed.”
Contained within the prosecution’s July 9 reply to the defense’s opposition to the rape charges were the results of search warrants executed at Paul Flores’ San Pedro home and Ruben Flores’ Arroyo Grande residence in 2020 and 2021.
Additionally, the filings contained accounts of more than two dozen unidentified women, including some who were allegedly raped by Flores and some who described his sexually aggressive behavior over the years.
On Feb. 4, 2020, San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s investigators executed a search warrant at Paul Flores’ San Pedro home, where they seized several electronic devices that contained numerous homemade videos that appeared to show Flores having sex with women, some of whom drift in and out of consciousness, according to court records.
Some of the videos were allegedly located on an external hard drive inside a folder labeled “practice,” and contained at least one video of a woman with a ball gag in her mouth.
On his home computer, Paul Flores allegedly conducted Google searches for what appear to be rape fetish videos, including one titled “Real Drunken Girls – Drugged and Raped while Passed Out,” according to the July 9 filing.
Investigators also allegedly discovered prescription drugs such as Tramadol and Flexeril, which Peuvrelle described as “date rape” drugs.
Four days after the February search warrant, Jamilyn Holman, identified as Ruben Flores’ neighbor, took a picture of a travel trailer backing up to the deck located behind Flores’ house in the 700 block of White Court in Arroyo Grande, according to court records.
Sheriff’s investigators returned March 15, 2021, with another warrant to search Flores’ house again, this time with ground-penetrating radar and two cadaver dogs. Both dogs pointed to an area of disturbed soil approximately four feet by six feet under the deck, a spot where the presence of human blood was detected, according to records.
Soil samples analyzed by a forensic serologist allegedly tested positive for human blood. The tests, however, could not screen out primate or ferret blood, although no primate or ferret remains were located at the dig site, and the blood samples did not contain human DNA, court records show.
Additionally, DNA testing was conducted on the mattress located in Paul Flores’ dorm room in the days following Smart’s disappearance and where cadaver dogs allegedly detected the scent of human decomposition. Samples were compared to Smart’s parents, but were inconclusive, according to court records.
A DNA sample from an alleged rape in Redondo Beach in 2007 matched Flores, although the case was rejected by the Los Angeles County District Attorney, according to court records.
Van Rooyen did not preclude Paul Flores from being prosecuted on rape charges in Los Angeles County.
“Paul Flores has raped and victimized so many women that it’s hard to keep track,” Peuvrelle said.
Paul and Ruben Flores are scheduled to appear for a 12-day preliminary hearing beginning Aug. 2 in Department 5 of San Luis Obispo County Superior Court.