More than two dozen women have accused 44-year-old Paul Flores of sexual misconduct, according to newly unsealed documents that lay out the prosecution’s case against the man accused of murdering missing college student Kristin Smart 25 years ago.
Flores was the last person seen with Smart while they walked home from a party on May 25, 1996, at California Polytechnic State University, where they were both freshmen.
The case went cold for more than two decades, but investigators searched Flores’ home last year and arrested him in April. He pleaded not guilty.
Now, Deputy District Attorney Christopher Peuvrelle laid out the most detailed case yet against Flores in documents that were part of a failed attempt to get two rape charges added to the murder charge that Flores is facing.
This undated photo released by the FBI shows Kristin Smart, the California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo student who disappeared in 1996. (FBI via AP, File)
Tim Davis, an organizer of the party that preceded Smart’s disappearance, told investigators that Flores acted aggressively toward females and “was a little weird and everybody realized it,” the Tribune of San Luis Obispo reported.
A female attendee said that she saw Flores and Smart fall to the floor together at some point during the party, then warned Smart to “stay away from that guy,” according to the Tribune.
When the party ended around 2:30 a.m., Flores walked with Smart, who was intoxicated, and one of Smart’s friends back toward Smart’s dorm, the newspaper reported. The friend said she split from the two after Flores attempted a hug and a kiss, which was refused.
Former classmates say that Flores was known on campus as “Chester the molester” and “psycho Paul” due to his suspicious behavior around females.
Smart’s body was never found, but Flores was arrested in April after investigators at the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department said they found “biological evidence” that Smart was once buried on the property of Flores’ father, Ruben Flores. The elder Flores pleaded not guilty to a charge of accessory after the murder.
Peuvrelle wrote that blood was discovered under Ruben Flores’ deck in an area where soil had been recently disturbed.
Paul Flores is facing one charge of murder in the 1996 disappearance of Kristin Smart and his father, Ruben Flores, is facing one charge of accessory after the murder. (San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office)
Flores’ attorney, Robert Sanger, declined to comment for this story, citing the pending litigation. He said in court papers that the newly proposed rape charges are just speculative.
“The actual evidence in the case relating to Kristin Smart’s disappearance is no different than existed in the 1990s,” Sanger wrote in court papers. “The evidence then and now is based on speculation and not proof of facts.”
San Luis Obispo Superior Court Judge Craig van Rooyen denied the prosecution’s attempt to add rape charges to the criminal complaint.
Peuvrelle said in the recently unsealed documents that 29 women have testified to some form of sexual misconduct by Flores, ranging from stalking to sexual assault.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.